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, turns out to be the prime suspect in the suspected murder of another drug dealer a year earlier.
Ferenc ‘David’ Stemler, 28, was shot after meeting two men outside his rental home on Broughton Street in Canterbury, south-west 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 on August 16 by council workers on Packer Road in Sydney’s north-west Blaxlands Ridge – three months after he disappeared.
Drug dealer Ferenc ‘David’ Stemler (pictured), 28, was shot dead outside his rental home on Broughton Street in Canterbury
Homicide Squad detectives questioned Stemler about Qi’s suspected murder, but never charged anyone The Daily Telegraph.
Qi was last seen alive by his family on May 11 at Sydney Town Hall at around 1pm – about 50 miles (80 km) 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
Police have released CCTV footage of him exiting his Macquarie St apartment complex in Sydney’s CBD at around 6pm later that day, captured on video checking his phone as he walked through the foyer.
Qi, who moved to Australia from Vietnam as a child, was found wearing the same clothes he was last seen in on the CCTV footage.
Police said the state of decomposition of his body made it difficult for detectives to determine how he died.
“The initial autopsy failed to determine the cause of death,” Superintendent Danny Doherty said at the time.
“But because of the circumstances in which we found him and the circumstances in which he disappeared, we are treating it as a murder investigation.”
Detective Doherty said he had a criminal history of drug trafficking and was behind bars.
“His disappearance was completely out of character. We strongly believe that Hongli (Qi) has been the victim of foul play,” he said.
Police have released CCTV footage (pictured) of Qi leaving an apartment complex on Macquarie St in Sydney’s CBD on May 11 last year
It is not yet known how Stemler and Qi would have known each other, apart from the fact that they were both drug dealers in Sydney.
It is one of two incidents that have been linked to Stemler by detectives. He was also linked to a failed assassination attempt at a barber shop in Marrickville early last month.
William Siale, 33, and Etuate Eric Siale, 20, were getting their hair cut when they were 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 recovered member of the Bandidos biker gang. Eric, meanwhile, was a friend of several slain members of the Hamzy clan.
There is no suggestion that either brother was involved in organized crime.
While there is an ongoing investigation into the circumstances surrounding Qi’s death, detectives have cast no doubt over Stemler’s brutal execution.
Stemler was also linked to a botched murder attempt at a Marrickville barbershop early last month (pictured, police at the crime scene)
Stemler was shot dead after encountering two men outside his rental home on Broughton Street in Canterbury on July 27 (pictured, on-site forensics)
Two cars were found set on fire 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 related to control of the lucrative drug trade.
Stemler was due to appear in court in the next few days on drug possession charges and had pleaded not guilty.
He was the fifth person to be shot in just five days in Sydney last month, leaving investigators racing for answers.