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Shock twist as young man shot dead in early morning attack was a leading suspect in murder investigation of another drug dealer


A drug dealer, who was executed outside his home, has been revealed to be the major suspect in the suspected murder of another drug dealer one year earlier. 

Ferenc ‘David’ Stemler, 28, was shot after he met two men outside his rental home on Broughton Street in Canterbury, southwest Sydney, on July 27.

He was treated by paramedics for gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen but died at the scene. 

Stemler was linked to the death of fellow low-level drug dealer, Hongli Qi, 28, who went missing on May 11, 2022.

Qi’s body was found in bushland by council workers at Packer Road in Blaxlands Ridge on Sydney’s northwestern on August 16 – three months after he vanished. 

Drug dealer Ferenc 'David' Stemler (pictured), 28, was shot dead outside his rental home on Broughton Street in Canterbury

Drug dealer Ferenc ‘David’ Stemler (pictured), 28, was shot dead outside his rental home on Broughton Street in Canterbury

Homicide Squad detectives questioned Stemler of Qi’s suspected murder but never charged anyone, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Qi was last seen alive by his family on May 11 at Sydney’s Town Hall at about 1pm- about 80km away from where his body was found. 

Stemler was linked to the death of drug dealer, Hongli Qi (pictured), 28, whose body was found in bushland last August

Stemler was linked to the death of drug dealer, Hongli Qi (pictured), 28, whose body was found in bushland last August

Police released CCTV footage of him leaving his Macquarie St apartment complex in Sydney’s CBD at around 6pm later that day captured on the video checking his phone as he walked through the foyer.

Qi, who moved to Australia from Vietnam when he was a child, was found in the same clothing he was last seen in on the CCTV. 

Police said the state of decomposition of his body made it difficult for detectives to determine how he died. 

‘The initial post-mortem hasn’t been able to determine the cause of death,’ Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty said at the time.

‘But because of the circumstances of how we have found him and the circumstances of how he disappeared, we’re treating it as a homicide investigation.’ 

Detective Doherty said he had a criminal history of drug supply and served time behind bars. 

‘His disappearance was completely out of character. We have a strong belief that Hongli (Qi) has been the victim of foul play,’ he said. 

Police released CCTV footage (pictured) of Qi leaving a Macquarie St apartment complex in Sydney's CBD on May 11, last year

Police released CCTV footage (pictured) of Qi leaving a Macquarie St apartment complex in Sydney’s CBD on May 11, last year

It’s not yet known how Stemler and Qi would have known each other besides the fact they were both drug dealers in Sydney. 

It’s one of two incidents Stemler has been linked to by detectives. He was also linked to a botched assassination attempt at a Marrickville barbershop early last month.

William Siale, 33, and Etuate Eric Siale, 20, were getting their hair cut when they shot by a masked gunman who stormed Adel’s salon. 

William was shot in the buttock and back, by the masked gunman and Siale was hit in the chest. Both brothers survived the shooting.

Police sources told The Daily Telegraph that William was a fully patched member of the Bandidos bikie gang.  Eric, meanwhile, was a friend of several slain members of the Hamzy clan.

There is no suggestion that either brother was involved in organised crime.

While there is ongoing investigation into the circumstances surrounding Qi’s death, detectives have expressed no doubt over the brazen execution of Stemler. 

Stemler was also linked to a botched assassination attempt at a Marrickville barbershop early last month (pictured, police at the crime scene)

Stemler was also linked to a botched assassination attempt at a Marrickville barbershop early last month (pictured, police at the crime scene)

Stemler was shot dead after he met two men outside his rental home on Broughton Street in Canterbury, on July 27  (pictured, forensics at the scene)

Stemler was shot dead after he met two men outside his rental home on Broughton Street in Canterbury, on July 27  (pictured, forensics at the scene)

Two cars were found torched by police shortly after the ‘targeted’ shooting.

A burnt-out white Holden Commodore was found on Beaconsfield Avenue in nearby Kingsgrove, and another car, a Lexus, was found burnt out on Dunrossil Avenue in Casula. 

Detectives have not revealed a possible motive for the targeted shooting but believe it is likely linked to control of the lucrative drug trade. 

Stemler was due to face court for charges of drug possession in the coming days and had pleaded not guilty. 

He was the fifth person shot in just five days in Sydney last month leaving investigators racing for answers. 



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