An innocent bystander who witnessed the shooting of underworld figure Gavin Preston has spoken of her terrifying experience.
Preston, who was recently released from prison for killing a drug trafficker in 2015, was gunned down at Sweet Lulus café in Keilor Village on Old Calder Hwy at 10.20am on Saturday.
An associate of Preston’s was also injured and rushed to hospital for emergency surgery.
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The café’s outdoor seating area was busy with patrons on Saturday morning when the shooting happened.
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One witness had sat down for a “lovely Saturday breakfast”, complete with champagne, when her weekend getaway turned into a nightmare.
“It felt like a really nice, safe, little quiet place,” she told 7NEWS.
She and her husband were speaking with a friend when they heard some “loud explosions”.
“Our friend thought that somebody was throwing firecrackers,” she said.
But she saw a “figure in black, and what looked like a gun in his hand” walking towards the seating area.
Bullet casings lie scattered as Victoria Police work at the scene of a fatal shooting at Keilor Village. Credit: JOEL CARRETT/AAPIMAGE
Her first instinct was to duck for cover.
She and her husband both dropped to the floor, hearing eight or ten shots ring out.
“It didn’t go on for very long, tables got knocked over and people were running,” she said.
She lay on the ground, going through the various possibilities for how the situation could go.
“I was terrified,” she said.
“(I was) thinking ‘are they coming in to the café area to get any witnesses or was it a rampage shooting like down at Port Arthur where they’re going to go around and just shoot everybody around or was it a one-off and have they gone?’”
Police are investigating a fatal shooting in a Melbourne suburb. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS) Credit: AAP
The ordeal seemed to be over, but she was still uncertain.
“I was still there on the ground and people were standing up and starting to talk and I’m just going ‘have they gone, have they gone?’
“And they said, ‘no they’ve gone, they’ve gone’.”
She retreated inside, despite her concerns that such a could potentially trap her there if the shooter returned.
When she got inside, she was met with overturned tables and a mother huddled with her children in the corner.
“It was obviously a terrifying experience for the kids,” she said.
Gavin Preston was a notorious underworld figure. Credit: 7NEWS
The shooters fled the scene, and no arrests have been made.
Preston’s family were called to the cafe shortly after, and witnesses said they were clearly distressed by the news.
Victoria Police is asking anyone with information to come forward as they continue to investigate.
Sweet Lulus is set to reopen on Tuesday.
-With Cassie Zervos
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