Brayden Dillon, 15, knew people were 'after him' before shot dead in sleep

Brayden Dillon, 15, was shot in the head as he slept at his family home in Glenfield in Sydney's south-west on April 14, 2017. Photo: NSW Police
Brayden Dillon, 15, was shot in the head as he slept at his family home in Glenfield in Sydney's south-west on April 14, 2017. Photo: NSW Police

RELATED CONTENT:

The night before 15-year-old Brayden Dillon died, he messaged his mates, trying to organise a group trip to the Sydney Royal Easter Show on Good Friday. 

It was to his friends he had also expressed concern that someone was after him over his older brother's alleged wrong doings. 

By the next morning, Brayden was dead.

He was sleeping in the bed at his Glenfield home in Sydney's south-west when a masked intruder stormed inside and shot him in the head at close range.

The gunmen managed to push past Brayden's mother, allegedly pointing a pistol at her before going to find the sleeping teenager upstairs just after 6am on April 14.

​After a three-month investigation, and a day out from what should have been Brayden's 16th birthday, homicide detectives charged his alleged killer. 

Twenty-six-year-old Conrad Craig was arrested at the dilapidated house in Seven Hills he had been frequenting since late March.

Conrad Craig has been charged with murder over the shooting of Brayden Dillon.  Photo: Facebook

Conrad Craig has been charged with murder over the shooting of Brayden Dillon. Photo: Facebook

His arrest came hours after detectives released CCTV footage of the suspected getaway car spotted driving through Glenfield before and after Brayden was killed. 

"We believe once we locate this car, we will be able to identify those responsible for the murder," homicide squad Detective Chief Inspector Mark Henney said on Monday.

Information that flowed through to police after that footage was released enabled officers to arrest Mr Craig at 11.05pm on Monday. 

The car, which didn't belong to Mr Craig, was found in an underground car park at Jamisontown about 3.30pm on Tuesday. Police are still trying to find the owner. 

Detectives are now looking closely at who Mr Craig associated with and who his friends were to establish links between him and Brayden. 

One dominant theory police were investigating was whether Brayden was killed as retribution for his older brother Joshua's alleged role in a fatal brawl in the city's south-west last year. 

Joshua Dillon, 18, James Rivera and a 17-year-old were charged with murder following the fatal fight in Panania in June 2016. 

Homicide detectives had appealed for information about a white Mazda 3 hatchback seen driving around the Glenfield area around the time Brayden Dillon was shot dead . Photo: NSW Police

Homicide detectives had appealed for information about a white Mazda 3 hatchback seen driving around the Glenfield area around the time Brayden Dillon was shot dead . Photo: NSW Police

Eighteen-year-old TAFE student Adam Abu-Mahmoud was stabbed in the street corner confrontation and died.

There was allegedly a history of tension between Mr Abu Mahmoud's friends and Dillon's.

Friends told Fairfax Media that Brayden knew people wanted to fight him for the things his brother had done.

"He always told me that he knew people were after him but he always thought that nothing would happen," one friend said. 

As they process news of the arrest, Brayden's mates and family are preparing to hold a bitter-sweet gathering to mark his 16th birthday on Wednesday. 

His friend Tia said the development in the case brought mixed emotions but lifted a lot of weight off her shoulders. 

"He [Brayden] always told me that he knew people were after him but he always thought that nothing would happen

One of Brayden Dillon's friends

She said she last spoke to Brayden the night before he was killed. 

"He messaged me and asked me if I wanted to go to the Easter Show with him," she said on Tuesday. 

"He was trying to organise a group of our friends to go. The next day we found out he passed away, we never went."

Brayden was an outgoing teen who always put others before himself, she said. 

"He had quite a few things going on in his life but he would always be there for anyone."

Mr Craig chose not to come up from the cells when his case was briefly mentioned in Blacktown Local Court on Tuesday morning. 

His lawyer, Brad Mallinson, indicated his client would apply for bail at the next court appearance in August. 

The story, Brayden Dillon, 15, knew people were 'after him' before shot dead in sleep, first appeared on the Sydney Morning Herald.