ACT News


Father unloads on police over drive-by shooting

An irate Canberra father says ACT Policing fell well short of the mark in its response to a drive-by shooting in Kambah.

Graham Wilson, a former soldier and military historian, told Fairfax Media that police had taken four hours to respond to his call after the shooting.

He also accused police of failing to make the incident public or appeal for witnesses and said they had not advised the family on what progress, if any, had been made in investigating the crime.

His daughter, a 23-year-old single mother with three children aged 5, 3 and 1, had been sleeping in a bedroom only metres away from her car when it was fired upon by a person or persons unknown with a shotgun at about 5am on December 27.

Mr Wilson said a similar shooting at Fairfield in Sydney at 2am that day had been widely reported in the media, and an arrest had been made almost immediately.

''What opportunities have been lost by not making this [the Kambah] incident public,'' he said. ''Shotgun attacks are not so common in the ACT the police should be blas e´ about them.''


ACT Policing told Fairfax Media officers went to a house in Kambah ''at around 5am on Thursday, December 27, 2012'' to investigate a report of ''a vehicle parked at the house had sustained shotgun damage''.

''The vehicle in question has undergone forensic analysis and as the investigation is ongoing it would not be appropriate to comment any further,'' a spokeswoman said. ''In normal circumstances, police media would issue a release to seek witnesses to the alleged incident and for public safety reasons.

''In relation to the alleged incident at Kambah, persons of interest were known and identified.

''In this particular circumstance, police deemed issuing a media release would jeopardise the ongoing investigation.''

Mr Wilson believes ACT Policing has confused the time the shots are thought to have been fired and the time their officers eventually arrived on the scene (about 5pm). He said he was not aware of any officers being anywhere near the Kambah address at or just after the time neighbours said they heard an explosion.

''At least one neighbour went outside to investigate but saw nothing and went back to bed,'' Mr Wilson said.

Fairfax Media has sought clarification from ACT Policing on when officers responded: 5am or 5pm.

A 12-gauge shotgun is believed to have been used on the 2000 model Toyota Avalon.

Mr Wilson's daughter, who is still traumatised and does not wish to be named, slept through the incident.

''One of the children has severe cerebral palsy and, as a result, my daughter often gets very little sleep,'' he said. ''She did not discover the damage until she went out to go down to the shops just before noon.

''That was when she called the police and called me.''

When no police had arrived by 2pm, Mr Wilson called again and two officers arrived at about 5pm. Forensics specialists were called and remained at the scene until 8.30pm before returning the following day.

Mr Wilson said that when the police arrived, they told his daughter there was nothing they could do to protect her.

''They said she just has to 'be careful', apparently,'' he said.

''She now lives in fear in her own home, sleeping on the floor of the lounge room with her three children so she can hopefully hear if anyone tries to break in.

''I am shocked and disgusted … firstly, that this has happened and secondly by the lack of apparent interest in the case, given the response time to what most people would consider a fairly major incident.''

Police are still waiting on the outcome of forensic analysis.