March 3rd 2008- Channel 10 news
Rugby League stars Jarryd Hayne and Mark Gasnier may have been the targets of a drive-by shooting in Sydney’s red-light district early today after a fight inside a club. Parramatta ace Hayne and St George-Illawarra’s Gasnier apparently left the Vegas Hotel in Kings Cross when they were shot at – one of two shootings in the notorious red-light district overnight. Early reports were confused but it now appeared the duo were involved in the second shooting, about 4am, The Daily Telegraph reported. In the earlier shooting, the owner of another club – the Sapphire Suite – was shot in thigh about 8.40pm. It appeared the league duo – who escaped injury – were shot at as they left a club following a brawl inside.
It is understood a man involved in the fight fired shots at the players from the rear seat of a taxi. A Parramatta Eels spokesman confirmed Hayne was one of the men shot at. Parramatta rugby league club chief executive Denis Fitzgerald said the club was trying to find him. He said a second player involved in the incident was believed to be St George-Illawarra’s Mark Gasnier. “We’ve obviously heard the reports but have been unable to contact Jarryd Hayne so we are none the wiser in regard to that at this stage,” he said. “We are trying to locate him and others.” Asked if he knew the identity of the second player involved in the incident, Mr Fitzgerald said: “I’ve heard inside the club that there was an incident and that the other player, but this is not official, is a player from another club – it was Mark Gasnier.” He said Parramatta players had been at the India-Australia cricket match and most went home about midnight. “A few of them decided to go further and go to a nightclub at Kings Cross, and that’s a real worry when this incident happened at in the vicinity of 4 o’clock,” he said. St George-Illawarra chief executive Peter Doust said he was not yet in a position to comment on the incident and would not say if he had been in contact with Gasnier.
“I will have some appropriate comments to make later in the day,” Mr Doust said.
Police said the second shooting was not related to the first but gave few other details. “A Parramatta man in his 20s informed police that he was walking in the (Kings Cross) area with two friends when he noticed a man standing beside a car,” a police spokeswoman said. “The man then fired a single shot in his direction. The three men then ran from the area and contacted police. The man who fired the shot then returned to the car and left the scene.” The Parramatta man was shot at in Ward St, just around the corner from Kellett St. Police would not say whether Hayne and Gasnier were among the group of three men. In the earlier shooting, the 55-year-old owner of the Sapphire Suite, Charlie Saleh, was shot in the leg and collapsed after three shots were fired from a car which then sped down Kellett St. Today his son – former rugby league player Hassan Saleh – said: “He’s fine, he’s in hospital for cautionary reasons.” He said there were no rugby league players in the club last night. “No, they weren’t there. The club wasn’t open last night at all. So I think they were at a different venue,” he said on Sky News. Witness Justin Ireland said “chaos” erupted after the gunfire. “I heard the shots, very, very loud bangs and then everyone just started running over,” Mr Ireland said. “There was like a second between each shot and it was exceedingly loud. Everyone just started shouting and yelling and some started to run away. “I saw them take one guy out on a stretcher and he didn’t have a shirt on but he was alive and conscious.”


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