Devastated friends and relatives of a young bikie associate murdered in an alleged gangland ambush have gathered at his family home united in grief.
Comancheros associate Levi Maurice Johnson, 23, was stabbed and left to bleed to death outside a Goodlife gym in Carindale, Brisbane, about 1pm on Monday.
Four assassins cornered him while he was leaving the car park before fleeing. One of his alleged attackers was soon arrested by police but the others are still on the run.
Police are investigating if the alleged gang hit came after a dispute between two groups associated with rival motorycle gangs.
Mr Johnson’s mother, father, and sister spent Tuesday receiving extended family and friends who crammed the driveway and street with cars to grieve with them.
His sister, world champion boxer Cherneka ‘Sugar Neekz’ Johnson, sat outside the double garage looking shattered with her head in her hands.
Comancheros associate Levi Maurice Johnson, 23, was stabbed to death in an ambush outside a Goodlife gym in Carindale, Brisbane. He is pictured with his sister, world champion boxer Cherneka ‘Sugar Neekz’ Johnson, in t-shirts supporting her
Mr Johnson’s sister Cherneka escorts a well-wisher bringing flowers inside as Mr Johnson’s mother Mel appeared in the garage to receive them
Cherneka Johnson sat outside the double garage looking shattered, often putting her head in her hands, looking nothing like the fighter who won the IBF super bantamweight title a few months before
Just a few months ago in April she celebrated with her brother after winning the IBF super bantamweight title, but instead on Tuesday she posted a tribute to him online.
She also expressed her love two years ago for his 21st birthday with a photo montage of them as kids: ‘I still remember the day my baby brother was born… happy 21st bro, love you,’ she wrote.
Later she helped a well-wisher bring flowers inside as Mr Johnson’s mother Mel appeared in the garage to receive them.
A bearded man on crutches, believed to be Mr Johnson’s father, emerged later along with other musclebound men keeping watch over the family home.
Outside, a young man was seen having an agitated phone conversation, pacing around the street gesticulating with his hand.
He later collapsed in a heap on the ground until he was coaxed inside by others at the house.
‘Big Lev’, as his friends called him, had numerous tattoos including a cartoon character on his arm, skulls on his knees and shins, and two Chinese characters on his face which mean ‘respect’ and ‘honour’.
A bearded man on crutches, believed to be Mr Johnson’s father, emerged later along with other musclebound men keeping watch over the family home
A motorcycle rider near the gym where Mr Johnson was stabbed to death as police and SES volunteers scour for clues
Other heavily tattooed associates visited the spot where Mr Johnson was left to bleed to death as gym patrons desperately tried to save his life
The tight-knit family of five, including younger sister Natalya, often posed together on social media. Ms Johnson recently shared childhood photos sure to embarrass her son by telling her friends how she enjoyed his foot massages.
Other heavily tattooed associates visited the spot where Mr Johnson was left to bleed to death as gym patrons desperately tried to save his life.
One sat over the road from the site, where floral tributes – one marked ‘love you my brother’ – were piling up, contemplating his friend’s death.
Mr Johnson was an associate of the Comanchero bikie gang in Brisbane, though he is understood not to have been a patched member.
However his lack of formal membership did not mean he was a stranger to trouble – he was stabbed on October 31 last year during a brawl on the Gold Coast during an alleged arson attack.
Police alleged at the time that Mr Johnson and an associate were at a unit in Biggera Waters when a fight broke out between them and acquaintances.
Outside, a young man was seen having an agitated phone conversation, pacing around the street gesticulating with his hand. He later collapsed in a heap on the ground until he was coaxed inside by others at the house.
Floral tributes – one marked ‘love you my brother’ – piled up at the spot where he was stabbed to death and left to bleed out
‘Big Lev’, as his friends called him, had numerous tattoos on his body including a cartoon character on his arm, skulls on his knees and shins, and ‘respect’ and ‘honour’ in Chinese characters on his face
He and the other man then allegedly left, only to return armed and with intent to burn the home down. They didn’t get that far though as Mr Johnson was stabbed by a Mongols member.
It is not known whether the brawl and his murder are connected but police are probing the possibility his attackers may be linked to the rival gang.
Mr Johnson was charged with attempted arson and dangerous conduct with a weapon, but both were dropped on September 1 – less than two weeks before his death.
Five days later he pleaded guilty to drug possession and was convicted, but no other punishment was imposed.
Mr Johnson was killed after his Mercedes was hemmed in by a black Audi A3 hatchback behind him and rammed from the front by a white Nissan Patrol as he tried to leave the Goodlife gym driveway
Four attackers smashed his window with a crowbar and he fled through the passenger door, but didn’t get far before one of the men caught up and stabbed him in a frenzy, leaving him bleeding on the road.
The tight-knit family of five, including younger sister Natalya, often posed together on social media. He poses here with his parents and two sisters
Mr Johnson poses with his sisters Natalya and Cherneka when they were children playing with a snake in a wildlife park
The same three kids all grown up in a much more recent photo
Ms Johnson shared childhood photos sure to embarrass her son by telling her friends how she enjoyed his foot massages
Gym patrons and other Good Samaritans desperately tried to save him by staunching the wounds and used a defibrillator to try to revive him after they lost his pulse.
Witnesses described a scene of bloody chaos as he lay across the kerb mortally wounded by numerous stab wounds to his abdomen.
Three of the attackers sped away in the Patrol but the Audi would not start and its driver fled on foot. The police said the two backpacks that were later found nearby came from the Audi.
Stuart Galloway, 34, was dramatically arrested by dog squad police who found him hiding in bushes at a reserve just a few hundred metres from the attack.
The shirtless man surrendered to police and was handcuffed and put into a forensic clean suit to preserve DNA on his body and clothes.
He was charged with one count each of unlawful possession of a revolver, and possessing gun ammunition and explosive without a licence.
Galloway faced Brisbane Magistrates Court on Tuesday morning and he was remanded in custody to appear on September 29. He has not been charged over Mr Johnson’s murder.
Stuart Galloway, 34, was dramatically arrested by dog squad police who found him hiding in bushes at a reserve just a few hundred metres from the attack
The family forms a united front to support Cherneka in one for her fights, all wearing t-shirts emblazoned with her stage name
Taskforce Maxima, a specialist police unit focused on bikie gangs, is closely involved in the investigation.
Detective Superintendent Andrew Massingham said the attack, which happened in front of members of the public, was deeply concerning.
‘These males were extremely motivated to hunt this individual down,’ he said at the scene on Monday.
‘This incident was fully captured on CCTV. I have viewed that CCTV and it is confronting and horrific.
‘We don’t know the motive of what’s occurred, whether there was planning involved or whether there was an incident that escalated in the nearby streets.
‘What was clear was their intent to cause significant harm to this individual.’
Mr Johnson’s body lies covered by a tarp (right) at the scene in the aftermath of the assassination om Monday afternoon
Four police divers in wetsuits and wielding metal detectors waded though a creek next to where Galloway was arrested hiding in a park
On Tuesday morning, the gym (pictured) was closed to all but a few pre-booked classes with others turned away at the door
On Tuesday morning, the gym was closed to all but a few pre-booked classes with others turned away at the door.
A State Emergency Service tent was set up in the car park as volunteers searched bushes and the surrounding streets for clues.
The search appears focused on finding the murder weapon.
Four police divers in wetsuits and wielding metal detectors waded though a creek next to where Galloway was arrested hiding in a park.
Superintendent Massingham said Monday’s attack was ‘a disturbing act, it is a brazen act… it is cowardly’.
He added that the stabbing was over in ‘less than five seconds’.
Superintendent Massingham told reporters that off duty medical personnel tried to help the victim at the scene but were unable to save him.
A bystander said up to 50 people were at the scene and the gym was evacuated.
Another said they saw police chase a man up a hill away from the gym.
‘Police were redirecting traffic,’ they said.
SES officers are pictured searching for the murder weapon in a murder inquiry in Brisbane
SES volunteers (pictured) have been taking part in the hunt for clues after a stabbing murder
‘Then across the road from the gym, paramedics were attending to someone on the ground who did not look like they were in a good condition.
‘There was a huge crowd of people there and everyone had their phones out filming.
‘Lots of police and paramedics on scene and a chopper flying too.’
Officers on scene closed the intersection of Pine Mountain and Creek roads in Carindale.
Superintendent Massingham said a post-mortem examination would be carried out on the victim on Tuesday.
He said significant resources have been allocated to the case and he is hopeful of a ‘swift resolution’.
Police have appealed for witnesses to come forward and for people to share any dashcam footage they may have with the police.