SYDNEY: A security guard is dead and another man is fighting for his life after a drive-by shooting outside a popular Melbourne nightclub, police said Sunday, amid a spate of gun violence in Australia's second-largest city.
Sunday's shooting took place around 3.20am in the lively entertainment district of Melbourne's southeastern suburb of Prahran, police said.
Three security guards and a man queuing to enter were taken to hospital with gunshot injuries, police said in a televised news conference in Melbourne.
"It would appear that shots have been discharged from a car in this area into a crowd standing outside the nightclub," homicide inspector Andrew Stamper said.
"This is just a horrendous act. It's a busy nightclub, one of the main nightclubs in Melbourne in one of the main entertainment precincts in Melbourne."
The victims suffered "horrific injuries" from a weapon fired in close proximity, he added.
The 37-year-old security guard was taken to hospital but died soon after.
Another man was in critical condition and two escaped life-threatening injuries. One guard was shot in the face, the Age newspaper said.
However, there was no suggestion yet that the attack was terror-related, a police spokeswoman said by telephone.
Bloodstained clothing and bullet casings littered the street outside the entrance to the second-storey Love Machine nightclub early on Sunday.
Police urged witnesses who saw any vehicle moving at speed around 3am to come forward, and mentioned a black Porsche SUV that was later found burnt-out in the north Melbourne suburb of Wollert.
No arrests have yet been made, and investigation continues.
A murder-suicide last year in Western Australia that killed seven members of a family was the country's worst mass shooting since the Port Arthur case.
Neighboring New Zealand has adopted legislation to ban semi-automatic firearms and assault rifles after its worst peacetime shooting in March, which killed 50 worshippers in two mosques in the city of Christchurch.