Michael Kanaan: Shoot to Kill

Michael Kanaan was an angry young man in a hurry to make a name for himself in Sydney's underworld. But his volatile temper and penchant for violence soon led him to kill three men before he was finally captured in a wild shootout with Sydney police. Born in Australia in 1975 to Lebanese parents he grew up following American crime gang culture in films and music. As a teenager he moved into petty theft and assault before his first arrest, for drug possession, in his early twenties. Despite being given a suspended sentence and a two-year good behaviour bond, he was soon in trouble again, this time for common assault, for which he escaped with a fine. He quickly returned to drug dealing and his gang, known as DK's boys, made huge profits distributing cocaine in Sydney's Kings Cross. His reputation grew and by 1998, at age 23, he had become a lieutenant to organised crime figure Danny Karam. Although outwardly courteous and well spoken, Michael Kanaan had an uncontrollable temper and did not hesitate to use violence to settle disputes. In July 1998, he made a passing comment to some people involved in a fight outside the Five Dock Hotel in Sydney's inner west. When one of them approached him, Kanaan suddenly drew a pistol and shot two men dead. His attempt to shoot a third failed as he had run out of bullets. A few months later, Kanaan led his gang in a drive-by shooting attack on the police station at Lakemba in Sydney in which the building was sprayed with bullets. Soon afterwards he organised the brutal execution of his underworld boss, Danny Karam in December 1998. He was finally cornered by police and arrested after a shoot-out in inner city Rushcutters Bay in which Constable Chris Patrech was wounded.

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