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‘A beautiful soul’: The innocent victims of Prahran nightclub shooting

There is shouting amid the chaos. A video shows revellers becoming first responders. “Turn him on his side.” “Stop him bleeding out.” “Please, someone.”

Mr Osmani, 37, dies later. Mr Arow, 28, clings to life in The Alfred hospital.

Many others had their lives changed that morning. It could have been anyone – if not outside that club, then why not some other place of routine, fun, friends, ordinariness?

Aaron Khalid Osmani was shot dead outside Love Machine nightclub in Prahran.

Aaron Khalid Osmani was shot dead outside Love Machine nightclub in Prahran.

This is what police feared most from Melbourne’s recent spate of gun violence. More innocent lives lost to those who couldn’t care about families, loved ones and dreams.

Mr Arow, who came to Australia as a child, wrote under a Metropolitan Fire Brigade Facebook post about its 2020 intake: “I submitted my application at midday and thought it didn’t process and submitted again. Looks like a common theme. Fingers crossed. Good luck to everyone!”


The sense of excitement in the post is familiar to Mr Arow’s wide circle of friends.

“He’s lovely guy, a personable guy, a real gentleman of a guy,” says Mario Vallese, football director at Brimbank Stallions FC and Mr Arow’s sometimes employer. “He’s very likeable. He’s always happy, never sad and never trouble. A good worker and a good teammate.”

Mr Arow was a centre-back in the 2017 premiership-winning team. Mr Vallese said injuries had stopped him playing in the most recent season, but that Mr Arow still came to games to support his teammates.

A common descriptor among friends is Mr Arow’s beaming, indefatigable smile.

It might have been a grin familiar to Mr Osmani, who The Age has been told knew Mr Arow, and who patrons of the club described as “one of the kindest security guards around”.

“He was always the most polite security guard, asked all the girls that worked if they were OK to get to their car,” one person wrote. “Absolute gentleman. I’m so, so, so sad for his family.”

Friend Sidney Saayman described the tragedy as a “devastating blow”.

“A place we call home and go to have fun, this just isn’t right,” he said. “My heart bleeds right now [for] a great man, a beautiful soul.”

A GoFundMe page set up to help Mr Osmani’s family with funeral costs had more than $10,000 on Tuesday.

It described him as “a kind, funny and easy-going guy” and said it was “a great loss to anyone who has had a pleasure of knowing him”.

Police are working to confirm the weapon used in the attack, but it is believed to have been an automatic, possibly an AK-47. It is understood detectives may be closing in on those who pulled the trigger.

With Cameron Houston and Simone Fox Koob

Zach is a breaking news reporter for The Age.

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