Inline National Signage was the scene of a deadly six-hour siege yesterday starting with the death of a 43-year-old customer and ending with the gunman’s suicide.
Father-of-one Michael Bassal (43) was shot dead by Wayne Williams (33) while Bassal’s two brothers were injured. The gunman then held three factory workers captive before turning his weapon on himself, dying at the scene.
Police believe the siege was sparked by a dispute over a sign job between the Bassal brothers and Inline. There are also reports the shooter had ties to the Finks bikie gang, however police say the shooting was not gang related but was sparked by a dispute over a sign job.
The three brothers, Michael, Terry and Mark, run a construction business and were reportedly invited to the premises to resolve a dispute over a sign that they had ordered but not yet received. The Bassal family’s lawyer says the meeting had been organised after a number of requests about the status of the signage, and a request for a refund of the money paid.
Inline Signage owner Chantelle Strnad was charged with serious indictable offence after she allegedly failed to provide police with adequate assistance over the matter. The 30-year-old is due to appear in court next month, along with the gunman’s father who was found on similar charges and for discharging a firearm in a public place.
The shooting took place inside of the Inline National Signage factory which operates in a Sydney industrial complex.
Bassal died from fatal gun wounds after collapsing onto the grass outside the company’s building.
Three sign shop employees- including a man working his first shift for the company – were held hostage at the workshop for six hours while police attempted to negotiate with the armed offender.
A machine operator and his wife are also believed to have been present in the factory during the siege, however hid from the gunman in the toilet.
The signage company began in the 1970s and designs, manufactures and installs for the sign industry and is a family-owned, second generation business. It is unclear whether it will remain open for business following the incident and the owner’s charges.
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