Close to a thousand mourners have gathered to farewell Taha Sabbagh after he was gunned down in an “execution style” shooting outside a gym.
The 40-year-old was in a car with his 12-year-old son outside the Elite Fight Force gym on Carlingford St in Sefton at 6.30am on Thursday when he was fatally shot.
At least 10 shots were heard before Mr Sabbagh was found injured by paramedics. He died at the scene.
Mourners filed up the stairs into Lakemba Mosque on Saturday as the coffin carrying Mr Sabbagh was carried into the mosque by the community just before midday.
Taha Sabbagh was laid to rest at Lakemba Mosque two days after he was gunned down. Picture: NCA NewsWireTaha Sabbagh pictured with social media star Hasbulla. Picture: Supplied
A single police car is parked on the opposite side of the road while patrol cars sweep up and down the road every few minutes.
Proceedings have started with the street outside the suburban mosque mostly quiet save for a the dozens of mourners still trailing in.
Mr Sabbagh has been described as a beloved husband and father in tributes that flooded his social media after his shocking death on Thursday morning.
Loved ones carried Mr Sabbagh out of the mosque. Picture: NCA NewsWireThe mourners spilled out onto the street because the mosque was full. Picture: NCA NewsWire
He was brutally gunned down in an alleged drive-by shooting outside of a Sefton gym which police allege is frequented by known criminal associates.
His 12-year-old son was sitting in the passenger seat beside him and ran for help once the alleged offenders drove away.
Police have revealed that the attack was targeted but one theory suggests Mr Sabbagh may not have been the intended target.
NSW Police are pictured at the scene where a 40-year-old man was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting outside a gym in Sydney’s Sefton. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Simon Bullard
The empty hearse is parked out the front of the church with the door still open from where Mr Sabbagh’s coffin was removed earlier.
Men – some wearing white robes or traditional prayer clothes and others wearing sneakers and sportswear – continue to arrive.
Hijab-adorned women filed off to the side of the men’s mosque.
Distraught women embraced outside the mosque after the service. Picture: NCA NewsWireThe mourners then moved onto the burial. Picture: NCA NewsWire
The mosque appears to be full as men and boys spill out onto the front stairs facing east.
Song emanated out of the open front doors as the men bow down rhythmically in prayer.
Mr Sabbagh, a celebrity chauffeur, had earlier been remembered as a “beautiful person who’s life was taken mistakenly and undeservedly”.
“The fact that the man’s 12-year-old son was in the car, we obviously believe this is an egregious, violent act,” Superintendent Doherty said.
“This is a poor kid whose father has been shot in front of him, it’s very traumatising for him and for his family.”
Mr Sabbagh is believed to have been taking his son to the martial arts gym which he frequently attends.