When the dust had settled and a suspect aged in his mid-20s was in custody, police revealed the man had arrived at Star City casino about 2pm and paid a taxi driver to wait for his return.
He then caught a lift to the fifth floor and marched into the gym before allegedly shooting a female fitness instructor three times in the pelvis and stomach. The woman, aged in her 30s, remains in a stable condition in Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.
A Fairfax staff member, who did not wish to be named, was in the gym when the shooting occurred.
“I’d just got out of the pool after swimming laps and had walked over to the water cooler for a drink when I heard this loud bang, and it scared the shit out of me,” he said. “At first I thought it was a car backfiring and I turned and saw this guy with a gun.”
He said the man was standing about a metre from the gym’s yoga instructor, named Holly.
“When I first saw him pointing the gun I thought it was a starter pistol and maybe he was joking, but then I saw her face and the look of horror.”
The witness said he then “freaked out” and ran into the change rooms until the man had fled. He said the gunman, who he had never seen before, looked angry when he walked into the gym just minutes before the first shots were fired.
“He looked a bit miserable-looking, just unhappy, he just had an unhappy aura.
“I heard one of the staff members say she heard Holly tell the man: ‘It’s not worth it’.”
The witness said the victim had been the gym’s yoga instructor for between six months and a year.
“She was a really sweet girl, a typical yoga instructor – really mellow and placid. She was very athletic, had good posture, really tall, brown hair … a really attractive girl.”
Police say the suspect did not return to the taxi, instead fleeing to a nearby office block on the corner of Pyrmont Street and Pyrmont Bridge Road.