Death of rocker Angry Anderson's son sparks concern over drug violence

The death of an Australian rock singer's son has sparked concerns over street violence and drug culture among youth. 

Australian rock musician Gary "Angry" Anderson rushed back to Sydney from Perth on Sunday after his eldest son called him to inform him of the tragic death of his youngest son, 26-year-old Liam Anderson. 

Sydney police are investigating the murder of the aspiring rapper in Queenscliff after arresting 20-year old Matthew Flame, who was understood to be a close friend of the victim. 

Angry Anderson is the lead singer of rock band Rose Tattoo and has three sons and a daughter. His manager Scot Crawford released a statement saying the family would not be offering comment at this stage. 

Reports claim the 20-year-old suspect was allegedly so high on drugs that it took the police about half an hour to apprehend him outside Anderson's home on Sydney's northern beaches. 

Australia correspondent Jason Morrison says it's understood the suspect was so inebriated that he couldn't be questioned by police, which has raised concerns about drug use and violence among youth. 

"You can kind of get the feeling from the way the police have portrayed the arrest as being very difficult and very confrontational to the point they almost had to have their weapons out to calm him down and arrest him," Morrison told The AM Show. 

"I won't suggest there were drugs in the victim, but there certainly was in the offender. It's hideous," he added. 

"If anything comes from this, this will be an insight into the ferocity and the impact of drugs and the effects of them on people."

Witnesses told police two people were seen fighting in the early hours of the morning, while others claimed to have just heard "shouting and moaning" coming from the direction of Pavilion Reserve Park. 

Morrison said neighbours in the area were used to the sound of people exercising early in the morning, and at first thought the sounds they heard came from people recovering "from a bit of rough exercise". 

The victim, aspiring rapper Liam Anderson, is pictured here with US rapper Mac Miller, who died from a suspected drug overdose in September.
The victim, aspiring rapper Liam Anderson, is pictured here with US rapper Mac Miller, who died from a suspected drug overdose in September. Photo credit: Facebook

One local woman said she heard a man exhaling loudly and yelling, before he would exhale again. She told 7 News: "I just heard a lot of, say for at least half an hour, moaning."

"Then we found out it was obviously him being kicked or stabbed. We should have looked out but we didn't," she added. "It just sounded like a guy doing boot camp, running up the hill and exhaling".

Detective Inspector Michael Boutouridis said on Sunday morning ambulance officers commenced CPR on the victim as soon as they arrived at the scene, but were unable to revive him.

"You’ve got a rescue helicopter trying to save this young man, and the police are working on two things: calming the suspect at the same time as they’re trying to bring in the appropriate emergency level of service to save the other man, and they couldn’t," Morrison told The AM Show. 

Mr Boutouridis did not rule out the possibility that the 20-year-old alleged offender had been on drugs during the incident, reports. 

"It's still early in the investigation but it's quite possible, yes," he said.

Violence and drug culture is not unique to Australia. Similar concerns have been brought to attention in New Zealand, with around 1280 new police to be deployed over the next few years focusing on preventing gang-related and drug-related crime. 

Figures released to Newshub in June show that the number of violent offences involving gang members or prospects in New Zealand has dropped by 10 percent since 2014.


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