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A celebrity chauffeur gunned down in a hail of bullets in front of his young son has been farewelled in an emotional funeral.

Mourners paid their respects to slain father Taha Sabbagh, 40, at a service at Lakemba Mosque, in south-west Sydney, at 1pm on Saturday.

Sabbagh was shot dead outside the Elite Force gym on Carlingford Street in Sefton at about 6.30am on Thursday.

Family and friends comforted each other as the coffin carrying the slain father was carried up the stairs and into the mosque two days later.

A celebrity chauffeur gunned down in a hail of bullets in front of his young son has been farewelled in an emotional funeral

A celebrity chauffeur gunned down in a hail of bullets in front of his young son has been farewelled in an emotional funeral

Mourners paid their respects to slain father Taha Sabbagh, 40, at a service at Lakemba Mosque, in south-west Sydney, at 1pm on Saturday

Mourners paid their respects to slain father Taha Sabbagh, 40, at a service at Lakemba Mosque, in south-west Sydney, at 1pm on Saturday

Family and friends comforted each other as the coffin carrying the slain father was carried up the stairs and into the mosque two days later

Family and friends comforted each other as the coffin carrying the slain father was carried up the stairs and into the mosque two days later

Sabbagh was shot dead outside the Elite Force gym on Carlingford Street in Sefton at about 6.30am on Thursday

Sabbagh was shot dead outside the Elite Force gym on Carlingford Street in Sefton at about 6.30am on Thursday

The coffin was then carried back down the front steps following the service a short time later while the mourners joined in on a solemn chant.  

The coffin was then loaded into the back of a hearse waiting on the street before it was taken to Rookwood Cemetery.

Several mourners were seen wiping away tears and embracing each other. 

A single police car was parked on the opposite side of the road while patrol cars swept up and down the road every few minutes. 

The celebrity chauffeur was drinking coffee while dropping off his 12-year-old at the gym when at least two gunmen opened fire at the black Mercedes SUV.

Sabbagh wrapped his arms around his son sitting next to him in the front passenger seat to protect him from the bullets.

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The boy then ran from the scene to get help for his dad who died at the scene from a gunshot wound.

Police said the shooting had the hallmarks of a ‘targeted organised crime murder’ and that while Sabbagh wasn’t well known to police, he mixed in underworld circles.

They’re still investigating whether the fatal shooting was linked to Sabbagh’s associations and haven’t ruled out it may have been a case of mistaken identity.

The gym counts among its patrons members from the notorious Haouchar and Mariam families, while gym co-owner ‘Bones’ Adam Omar, also known as Boxa Yass, is an associate of the Comancheros bikie gang, 7News reports.

The Mariams and Haouchars are in alliance with the infamous Alameddine crime network, which has been linked to drug syndicates across Sydney and bloody conflicts against rival clan, the Hamzys.

The coffin was then carried back down the front steps following the service a short time later while the mourners joined in on a solemn chant

The coffin was then carried back down the front steps following the service a short time later while the mourners joined in on a solemn chant 

A single police car was parked on the opposite side of the road while patrol cars swept up and down the road every few minutes (pictured, mourners outside the mosque)

A single police car was parked on the opposite side of the road while patrol cars swept up and down the road every few minutes (pictured, mourners outside the mosque)

Several mourners were seen wiping away tears and embracing each other on Saturday

Several mourners were seen wiping away tears and embracing each other on Saturday

Forensic investigators set up a crime scene following the shooting at Sefton on Thursday

Forensic investigators set up a crime scene following the shooting at Sefton on Thursday 

According to 7News, gym co-owner and professional fighter Hany Sbat and his brother Omar drive similar cars to Sabbagh, and underworld sources believe they could have been the intended targets.

Sabbagh’s friends are convinced he was gunned down in a case of mistaken identity.

‘We believe whilst he (Sabbagh) was relatively not well known to police, he was associated with people who are well known to police,’ NSW Police Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty said

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‘We believe this is a targeted attack, it’s not random – the execution style – it bears the hallmarks of an organised crime murder.

‘It was callous and brazen and (the shooter) had little regard for human life.’

‘Associates of the victim have connections to that gym as well, and that’s why circumstances lend themselves to a targeted attack.’

The boy wasn’t physically injured but has been left very traumatised.

‘It is horrendous a 12-year-old had to witness his father being shot dead in this manner,’ Det Supt Doherty said.

Detectives believe they are hunting two gunmen who used a Mazda 3 as their getaway car, before it was later found burnt out in the nearby suburb of Birrong.

Police spent most of Thursday at the crime scene and attended Sabbagh’s home later in the afternoon as part of their investigation.

The shooting ends a six month ceasefire since the last gangland murder when Lametta Fadlallah and Amneh al-Hazouri were killed in a drive-by shooting at Revesby.

Elite Fight Force is owned by Adam Omar (left), also known as Boxa Yass, and professional fighter Hany Sbat (right). Omar is reportedly an associate of the Comancheros while Sbat owns a car that looks the same as Sabbagh's black Mercedes

Elite Fight Force is owned by Adam Omar (left), also known as Boxa Yass, and professional fighter Hany Sbat (right). Omar is reportedly an associate of the Comancheros while Sbat owns a car that looks the same as Sabbagh’s black Mercedes

Members of the Haouchar family are patrons of Elite Fight Force. Osman Haouchar (left) who lost his right eye during a drive-by outside his family's Merrylands home in 2008, is pictured with his cousin Mohamad 'Butch' Haouchar (right)

Members of the Haouchar family are patrons of Elite Fight Force. Osman Haouchar (left) who lost his right eye during a drive-by outside his family’s Merrylands home in 2008, is pictured with his cousin Mohamad ‘Butch’ Haouchar (right)

Members of the Mariam crime family also workout at the gym. Pictured is Moustafa Mariam, 35, who was convicted over his role in the shooting death of a truck driver 2009

Mahmoud Mariam, 39, (pictured) is Moustafa's older brother. He was given a minimum sentence of six years in jail over the fatal shooting

Members of the Mariam crime family also workout at the gym. Pictured are brothers Moustafa Mariam (left) and Mahmoud Mariam (right)

Facebook page Request Dua — designed to request prayers from Sydney’s Islamic community remembered Sabbagh as a ‘loving son, brother, father, husband’.

‘With great sadness and shock we announce our beloved brother Taha Sabbagh has returned to his Creator,’ a post read.

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‘He will be missed greatly by all who knew him. Please remember our beloved and family and loved ones in your Dua. We ask Allah to give his family, wife and children comfort during this test.’

Mr Sabbagh’s uncle Nasser Sabbagh told Daily Mail Australia the luxury car driver wrapped his arms around his son to protect him as he was shot.

‘Why do people kill other people?’ he asked. ‘He’s a good man. Quiet man. No criminal record. He goes to work. Spends time with his kids.’

Another relative said he wanted Mr Sabbagh to be remembered as a ‘father, brother, uncle, and cousin’.

The proud dad’s last social media post on Wednesday night showed his 12-year-old boy practicing punching, blocking and dodging with a trainer.

A witness heard at least six shots fired and the sound of a car screeching away. The Mazda 3 was later found burnt out at nearby Birrong train station.

Paramedics desperately tried to revive Mr Sabbagh, who was a regular at the MMA gym.

Later in the afternoon family and friends flocked to Mr Sabbagh’s home as they came to terms with his death.

The tiny residential street was teeming with cars as loved ones arrived to pay their respects before consoling each other and departing.

Two white marquees were set up on the driveway as men and women sat beneath on the many plastic chairs scattered across the front yard.

Distraught loved ones hugged and consoled each other as they congregated in separate groups, spilling out onto the street.

One man dabbed his face with a tissue, while a woman wrapped her arm around another woman’s shoulder as they walked towards the house.

Police are investigating links between the shooting and a burnt out car found in a neighbouring suburb

Police are investigating links between the shooting and a burnt out car found in a neighbouring suburb 

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