Mongols outlaw motorcycle gang Known member in custody over ex-girlfriend’s shooting death

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By 9News Staff

Police are continuing to question a known bikie member over the shooting death of his ex-girlfriend on the Gold Coast.

Ivona Jovanovic, 27, was found at Christos Panagakos’ Highland Park home with a gunshot wound to her chest on Sunday just after 8pm.
Police believe Panagakos, a member of the Mongols outlaw motorcycle gang, and up to three other people were with Ms Jovanovic at the Renfrew Drive property when she was shot.
Shooting victim’s son said shooting may have been tied to a local biker gang out for revenge.
When police arrived at the scene, they had all fled and neighbours reported seeing a car speed from the location after the gunshot was heard.
Ms Jovanovic was rushed to Gold Coast University Hospital but died from her injuries.
Police confirmed Panagakos returned to the crime scene at about 1am yesterday after hiding out in nearby bushland.
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He was arrested and remains in custody, assisting officers with their investigation.
Detective Superintendent Brendan Smith said the group called an ambulance for Ms Jovanovic but slammed them for leaving her to die.
“It’s disgraceful. I’m sure if one of them had been injured in that manner, they would expect as much assistance as everyone there,” he said.
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“Whilst they called the ambulance there was a lot of first aid that could have been rendered at the time that may or may not have made a difference – we’ll never know.
“Clearly something has happened that has resulted in her being shot in the chest, it’s not something that is a common occurrence. It is very important that we get to the bottom of this as quickly as possible.
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He also said but police don’t believe the shooting is domestic violence or bikie related.
“It’s important obviously that we find out what happens, not only from the community perspective but for her family. As you can appreciate, a 27-year-old woman is still very young and her family have lost a loved one. We need to help them with moving on and getting some answers for them.”
Det. Supt Smith said the gun was unlicensed and is yet to be recovered.
“To possess a handgun, you’ve got to have an appropriate licence and appropriate training and this is a clear example where things go wrong if you have got those sorts of training.”
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A homicide investigation has since been opened by police and the Panagakos family home remains a crime scene.
In 2016, Panagakos was jailed for drug and weapon offences.
His co-accused was Rossario Dom Barbaro – the brother of slain Sydney underworld figure Pasquale Barbaro.
Tributes to Ms Jovanovic have been posted online.
“Another beautiful soul gone way too early … we will all miss you,” one read.
Another tribute read: “Oh wow hunni (sic), you were beautiful!! Taken way to soon … sending all my love to your family.”
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Ms Jovanovic herself had posted on her page: “Sometimes bad things happen to good people.”
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