Police are investigating a new theory in the fatal shooting of a Melbourne rapper, with detectives confident they’re ‘narrowing in’ on the culprit.
Police are investigating whether an altercation at a Melbourne house days before a young rapper was shot dead was used as a “cover” by those who pulled the trigger.
Chris Habiyakare was allegedly gunned down after a confrontation took place at his home in Sunshine North on Tuesday, August 24.
But detectives are now investigating if a fight at the same address three days earlier could have been used as a cover.
The new line of inquiry comes after police last week appealed for information to determine who was involved in the earlier altercation on August 21 and whether it was linked to the 24-year-old’s death.
“Since then, police have received information and interviewed a number of people involved in the incident on the 21 August … Detectives have now ruled out any links between that matter and Chris’s death,” Victoria Police said.
“Investigators are now exploring whether the offending group was aware of this altercation and potentially used it as a reason to target Chris and avoid detection.”
A firearm found by police at an “unrelated incident” earlier this month was being forensically tested, with detectives confident “this will be the firearm involved”.
Investigators on Monday also released CCTV footage of a vehicle seen driving along Essex St on the night of the shooting.
The hatchback was seen driving along the street about 8.15pm and police are looking at whether this vehicle was linked to the offenders.
Homicide squad detectives last week released images of two men they believe can help with their inquiries and again appealed to anyone who could identify them to come forward.
They also appealed to the men to contact police.
The musician was at the Essex St home with two male and three female friends, all believed to be aged in their 20s, when the shooting happened.
About 8.30pm Habiyakare answered a knock on the door from a group of males and a confrontation occurred.
The group forced their way inside the house allegedly armed with a range of weapons, including a firearm, police said.
The men and women visiting the house ran from the property, with one woman smashing a window to get out.
Police will allege a physical altercation took place with the armed group and Habiyakare was shot. He died at the scene.
The group then fled the property and the area in at least one vehicle.
Detective Inspector Tim Day said new details that had emerged in the past week had helped detectives “narrow in on who is involved”.
“Based on the information we’ve received, it’s becoming increasingly likely that the actual group responsible for Chris’s death was aware of the previous now unrelated altercation and has tried to take advantage of it,” he said.
“We believe they have most likely attempted to use it as a cover to throw off any suspicious on them in terms of what has happened to Chris.”