Sydney man accidentally shoots friend dead while cleaning rifle

Ooof. Speechless. Stupidity destroys at least two families. Hope everyone is alright. :disappointed_relieved:

A Christmas trip to a country property in north-east NSW has ended in tragedy for a group from Sydney’s south-west, after one man allegedly accidentally shot another while cleaning his rifle.

The 41-year-old Sydney man will front an out-of-sessions bail hearing in Tamworth Local Court on Friday charged with manslaughter after the shooting at Bundella, east of Quirindi, on Boxing Day night.

At about 10.40pm, three men and five children, all from Sydney’s south-west, were at the property on Coomoo Coomoo Road.

Police have been told the 41-year-old man removed a firearm from his car to clean it when it fired a round and struck a 23-year-old man nearby.

It’s understood the men were part of the same group of people holidaying together although police would not say if they were related.

Despite efforts by emergency services, the younger man died at the scene.

The shooting was witnessed by others who were visiting the property, including another man, the Herald understands.

Police set up a crime scene at the property, which remained under guard throughout much of Thursday.

Oxley detectives from Tamworth and Gunnedah were sent to examine the scene late on Wednesday night.

Forensic police and other specialist officers were also deployed and spent much of the day combing the crime scene and speaking to witnesses.

No one else was injured during the incident, police said.

Police said the firearm in question had been seized and would undergo forensic examination.


So incredibly sad. Condolences to everyone involved.

Cleaning a loaded rifle? What was he doing wiping the outside with an oily rag? And then what the rifle was left on instant with a round in the chamber off safety and then someone pulled the trigger? Sounds like no accident to me…id bet he even had a sight picture

That’s the first thing that I thought of too, @AusTac. Sounds a little weird, not to know that it’s loaded, but let’s not jump to conclusions without due process, ay.

Hanlon’s razor is an aphorism expressed in various ways, including: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity . An eponymous law, probably named after a Robert J. Hanlon, it is a philosophical razor which suggests a way of eliminating unlikely explanations for human behavior.

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Thats whats always happened with firearm incidents

That is truly sad and I am sure it was a accident. Things can be overlooked when distractions occur. Its why having a good process such as removing a magazine and bolt is such a good habit.

I just don’t get it, who leaves a round in the chamber with the bolt cocked and then leaves it in the car?
I wonder if alcohol played a part in this?. Surely if a person was in a clear state of mind you would have noticed that it was cocked and pulled the bolt to check.

I feel sorry for the 3 kids who will have to live with that memory.

Yeah, something is just too weird.

Terrible tragedy, at any time let alone Xmas, but definitely no accident. The manslaughter charge is appropriate to lay given the number of safety failings that combined to cause this UID, but let’s try and take a positive away with us, and never become complacent ourselves regarding unloading when returning to camp from the field, checking the status of our firearm before entering camp, again before putting it in the car/storage rack etc. and keeping the action open when around others, Cheers.


Its always possible someone other than the shooter loaded it, a child or even the victim without the shooters knowledge.
Trust but verify.

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