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Bogie shooting: Police provide update on incident at Queensland cattle property


Police have released new details about a mass shooting in regional Queensland.

Four members of the same family were shot, three fatally, at a property in Bogie on Thursday morning.

Two men and a woman who died at the scene are understood to be Mervyn and Maree Schwarz and her son, Graham Tighe.

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Another son, Ross Tighe, survived and was able to flee into remote bushland with a gunshot wound to his stomach before raising the alarm.

Police on Friday morning said a 59-year-old man was in custody and would likely be charged later in the day.

Maree and Mervyn Schwarz. Credit: Supplied

Acting Superintendent Tom Armitt said the property where the shooting took place was “tens of thousands of acres”.

“It’s actually a 45-minute drive between the neighbours,” he said.

“At the crime scene, which is at the front gate of one of the premises, it is a 3km drive between the gate and the house at that location.”

Armit said because Ross had been so far from the crime scene, and it was unclear whether the alleged gunman was still at large, police were cautious in their approach to the property.

“At that time, not knowing whether the armed offender was present or not, putting their lives in grave danger, especially when the report was that the people had been shot with a rifle and that they were in danger of being shot from any distance while approaching the crime scene,” Armitt said.

“So that was slow and meticulous work and extremely brave of the officers who were involved at that time.”

The surviving man was airlifted to Mackay Base Hospital where he remains in a serious but stable condition. Credit: 7NEWS

Following initial investigations, five people were located at a neighbouring property and taken into custody.

Two were involved in a “power company” and were released after giving a statement to police.

The other three either lived at the property or were relatives of the owner. Two have been released and a 59-year-old man, who is a “long-term resident of the area” remains in police custody.

“He will be remaining in our custody and we expect to lay criminal charges in relation to the matter sometime later on this afternoon,” Armitt said.

Ross was initially in a critical condition but since undergoing multiple emergency surgeries is now reported as serious but stable.

“He was able to speak to us overnight and provide us details of what occurred at the incident yesterday morning,” Armitt said.

“And detectives will be speaking to him again this morning.”

Several crime scenes were established at the property and forensic teams will continue searches on Friday morning.

Armitt earlier said the parties allegedly involved in the incident were neighbours.

Community in shock

Whitsunday Regional councillor Jan Clifford said the tight-knit community would be devastated.

“To my knowledge, nothing like this has ever happened in the Whitsunday region before,” Clifford said.

“We are all deeply saddened by the tragedy.”

Clifford said the incident was bound to have a big effect on the tiny community of Bogie, which has a population of 207 according to the latest census data.

“It’s a little village. Everyone will know everyone … It’s just awful.”

One woman working in nearby Collinsville said the entire community was in shock.

“The whole town is a bit rattled that something like that could happen here,” she told AAP.

“It’s a small town, everyone knows everyone.”

– with AAP



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