The Caves shooting: 'I'm bleeding to death, come get me'
IF Douglas Hart's daughter hadn't had a flat car battery, he could very well have been the fourth victim of Tuesday's murder-suicide
Instead he found himself racing back to his property at The Caves to help his brother Lindsay after a frantic phone call: "I'm bleeding to death, come get me quick!"
Lindsay had spent about an hour doing some recreational shooting on Douglas' 50 acre property with his friend and Royal Flying Doctor Service colleague Greg McNaughton and Greg's son Tim.
Then, around 4.40pm, Tim turned the gun on his father, fatally wounding him, before shooting Lindsay and finally turning the gun on himself.
Douglas was supposed to go shooting with the three men, but at the last minute his daughter called him to come help.
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"If I had gone out I wouldn't be talking to you," he told The Morning Bulletin.
Yesterday he went through the events of that afternoon, which he learnt from Lindsay who is still recovering in hospital.
According to Lindsay, there was nothing to indicate what was about to unfold.
"Apparently he (Tim) was quite happy. Not a word was spoken (before he turned the gun on his father)," Douglas said.
After Lindsay saw Greg on the ground he realised nothing could be done to help him, then noticed Tim was reloading his gun.
"He saw him reloading, so he ran and zig-zagged through the scrub, but the next thing 'bang', he got him through the right bicep," Douglas said.
"He was shot a second time and it grazed his rib cage. The third one whizzed past his ear."
As Lindsay ran, bleeding heavily, through the bushland he heard another gunshot which they now believe was Tim turning the gun on himself.
But at the time Lindsay believed Tim was still on the loose, so continued to run through the dense scrub for about a kilometre.Douglas picked him up from his neighbour's property and met an ambulance on the Bruce Highway.
Both Lindsay and Greg are pilots for the Royal Flying Doctor Service, while Tim was an engineer there.
It is understood that Tim had been involved in a serious motorcycle accident about 10 months ago where he received head injuries, and he had been in rehabilitation recently.
However, Douglas did not believe that he was diagnosed with any mental illness.
"He seemed to be going really well … the occupational therapist said to integrate him back into the community," Douglas said.
Tim had only been in Rockhampton for a day or so before the incident. Greg has been a pilot with the RFDS here for about seven years, while Lindsay has been with the RFDS for almost 10 years.
Luckily the bullet missed the bone in Lindsay's arm, but there appears to be damage to some nerves or ligaments which may require microsurgery in Brisbane.
Douglas was allowed back on his small hobby farm about 3pm yesterday after police concluded their forensic examination.
He praised the police for their quick response and professionalism.