'We were ambushed': Gang attack witness saw man 'bleed out'

A woman has told how she watched her friend "bleed out" as police were last night grappling with a gang war that had spilt into Brisbane hospitals, after a mass brawl at a suburban park left one person dead, three critically injured and up to six others badly hurt.

Shocked witnesses have described the horrific park scene in Zillmere where two groups of African youths attacked each other with bats and knives in what police say was a revenge attack for an earlier incident.

One person was to stabbed death and 10 people have been injured, including three critically, after a park fight escalated in Brisbane's north.

One person has died after a gang brawl broke out in Zillmere last night. PICTURE: John Gass
One person has died after a gang brawl broke out in Zillmere last night. PICTURE: John Gass

One woman said she was involved in the incident and she watched her friend "bleed out".

"Saw my boys bleed out fuming, one who is critical and another dead just because of a misunderstanding," she said.

The woman claimed her group of friends were ambushed by a gang.

She said she was involved with an African community group called "34", but said the group was not a gang, but a "family".

"We are not a gang, we are a family. The people that attacked my friends were a gang," she said.

"34 was never a gang, it was a family and the media and people twisted it to the point y'all made them a target by a real p***y bunch of n****s that ambushed my brothers and girls.

Police say the attack appeared to be an act of retaliation after another incident earlier this week. Picture: John Gass
Police say the attack appeared to be an act of retaliation after another incident earlier this week. Picture: John Gass

"Shame on you, then to have the police treat us with no respect and withhold where they took the injured and treat the family of the deceased family like they are crazy and wanting to put the mother in the mental hospital because she was breaking down about her son … f***ed system."

The woman said her friends were still in a critical condition this morning

Police have been posted to a number of Brisbane hospitals after at least one incident last night in the aftermath of the brawl, Detective Superintendent Tony Fleming said.

Police called for calm as they stepped up patrols in a bid to end the gang violence and retribution.

Some of the family members who went to hospital to see their injured relatives last night were "very animated" and aggressive.

"I can only imagine to be a member of the family of someone who was injured in this way," Supt Fleming said.

"It's a horrific unacceptable attack in our society.

"I can only imagine that as a parent or as a sibling that that would cause angst in my mind if it was someone that I loved.

"But going off is not going to solve the problem. Retribution is not going to solve the problem. We've seen that in societies around the world where it becomes tit-for-tat - it doesn't end well for anyone."

The victim from the Redbank assault was still in hospital last night and was not believed to be involved.

"Whether or not he had knowledge of it, I don't know," Supt Fleming said.

Supt Fleming said knives were becoming "all too common in our crimes at the moment".

"We know that the price of drugs is up at the moment and one of our working hypotheses is this is motivating the offending behaviour," he said.

A large crowd at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital overnight. Picture: Tobias Jurss-Lewis
A large crowd at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital overnight. Picture: Tobias Jurss-Lewis

Police have not yet found those responsible for the attack and it remains unclear how many people were involved, though it is understood to be several gangs.

Three people remain in a critical condition today in the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital.

Supt Fleming said police estimated more than 20 people were involved in the incident.

The attackers came in three vehicles.

"I'm told the scene was very confusing on the night, there were people moving about, lots of agitation," he said.

The people injured were understood to be all in the group originally at the park.

One of the critically injured people was now expected to survive.

Supt Tony Fleming said he was concerned the attack was in retribution for an assault on September 8 at Redbank.

"That is unconfirmed at this stage but certainly the indications are that that may be the case," he said.

"That was an assault … it involved a group of African people on an African man who suffered significant injuries."

Det Supt Fleming said when police arrived last night there was "quite a disturbance under way".

"The investigation is still in early stages," he said.

People at the scene of the fatal stabbing this afternoon. Picture: John Gass
People at the scene of the fatal stabbing this afternoon. Picture: John Gass

"Most of the people involved in this aren't co-operating with us and providing us detailed information.

"What we do believe is that the people who were in the park and have been the victims in this attack were set upon by those who have turned up presumably for the purpose of the assault.

"The offenders appear to be people of African heritage, the victims appear to be people of African heritage."

Supt Fleming said the people involved appeared to be "outliers to the African community".

"The advice I have is that they are not supported generally by the African community," he said.

Supt Fleming said police feared there may be further retribution attacks.

"I would say to the friends and the associates of those who know - there is no doubt people talk they will know who is responsible for this - you have an opportunity to talk to your elders, to talk to police and let us know who is responsible for this and stop more people being hurt in the community," he said.

"I think some of the words spoken by some of the people last night when in presence of police has led them to be concerned that some within that small group won't co-operate with us and they will seek to solve that themselves."

Police and paramedics were called to O'Callaghan Park next to the North Star Football club on Jennings St around 5.35pm yesterday after an altercation between two groups escalated.

It is understood the fight involved stabbing weapons and a number of young Sudanese men, some in their early 20s.

Police said a man aged approximately 20 years old died, while 10 others were injured with three in a critical condition.

Some of the people involved took themselves to hospital.

Queensland Ambulance Service medical director Dr Stephen Rashford said victims suffered multiple knife wounds and blunt-force trauma.

"It was dark, there were heightened emotions and we had a number of people critically injured," Dr Rashford said.

"We found multiple victims across a large park in Zillmere, this provided a significant challenge for the paramedics who responded.

"Unfortunately one person suffered significant injuries and despite extensive resuscitation was pronounced dead on scene."

Nearby residents said they heard bottles breaking and a witness - who did not want to be named - said they saw bodies "on the ground".

"Just lying down there," he said.

"There was another three or four over the other side."

He said he had also seen "one guy on top of a guy".

"I could see his hand, you know, going like that," he said making a stabbing motion.

"He saw me and took off."

He said, moments before he had seen another "pack of guys come through".

Another witness said she saw a group of men walking down Hanford Rd towards the park wearing black hooded jumpers and masks.

Police say the incident appeared to be retribution between two African gangs and they are concerned the violence may escalate.

Detective Superintendent Tony Fleming said it appeared knives and baseball bats were used in the clash.

"It was quite a difficult scene where people were highly agitated," he said.

"I would ask the people who know the individuals involved in this incident to encourage them to remain calm."

Det Supt Fleming said people had been transported to a number of hospitals across Brisbane.

"We know at least one young man has died and there are about 10 other people who have been hospitalised as a result of this. Two of those people I'm led to believe are in critical condition," he said.

"A very large number of police attended that scene. It was quite a difficult scene where people were highly agitated."

Tensions remained high at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital overnight where friends and family of the injured have gathered.

Police have forcibly restrained at least one person after a second altercation broke out after 11pm.

Originally published as One stabbed, multiple injured in Brisbane park fight


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