The accused gunman who fatally shot three family members on a remote Queensland cattle property has been charged with murder.
The 59-year-old alleged shooter was charged with three counts of murder and another count of attempted murder.
He is expected to appear in the Proserpine Magistrates Court on Monday.
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The sole survivor of the shooting is recovering in hospital following the incident between neighbours near Bogie, northwest of Mackay.
Two other people who were being held by police, understood to be family of the man, have been released.
The victims have been identified in media reports as Mervyn and Maree Schwarz, aged 71 and 59, and Maree’s son Graham Tighe, aged 35.
Graham’s brother Ross Tighe is recovering from a gunshot wound to the stomach, and has been interviewed by police, acting Superintendent Tom Armitt told the Nine Network on Friday.
“What we do know is that the parties involved are neighbours and some conversation has occurred between the parties,” he said.
At the 59-year-old’s invitation, the neighbours are believed to have met at the boundary line of their properties before the shooting early on Thursday morning.
The injured man managed to flee by car and raise the alarm before being airlifted to Mackay Base Hospital to undergo surgery for critical injuries.
He was found by police some 40 kilometres away from the crime scene, and there was initial confusion about where the shooting took place.
Police locked down the area surrounding the rural cattle properties before conducting a sweep.
“We had a small team of police who drove forward into the crime scene … not knowing whether the armed offender was present or not, putting their lives in grave danger,” Inspector Armitt said.
“Especially when the report was that the people had been shot with a rifle, and they were in danger of being shot from any distance while approaching the crime scene.”
The 59-year-old man and two other people were later found on his property.
The small community will be relieved the suspect was in custody, Whitsunday councillor Mike Brunker told the Seven Network on Friday.
“I think these people had only moved over here 12 months ago from out west … just an absolute tragic situation,” he said.
The 59-year-old is a long-term resident of the area.
Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan said the shooting was particularly confronting given Australia’s strong gun laws.
“This is a tragedy on so many levels and obviously there’s a police investigation. Hopefully, that investigation is completed soon so that we can provide closure to the family who have lost loved ones,” he said on Friday.
© AAP 2022