Family shot dead during a ‘neighbour dispute over boundary lines’ are revealed to be married couple and their son – as police warn the gunman is STILL at large

  • Maree Schwarz, her husband Mervyn and her son Graham Tighe shot dead
  • Another son Ross Tighe fighting for life in hospital after being shot in stomach 
  • Five people were assisting detectives with their inquiries on Thursday night
  • Police spokesman said ‘At this stage, we do not know who is responsible’ 
  • Do you know more? Contact Brittany.Chain@mailonline.com

Three people who were shot dead at a rural property have been identified as the search for the gunman continues.

The tragic incident unfolded on Thursday at about 9am at a rural property in the small mining town of Bogie, about 40km west of Bowen in the Whitsundays region of north Queensland. Just over 200 people live in the community.

Married couple Mervyn and Maree Schwarz and her son Graham Tighe died from gunshot wounds.

Ross Tighe, Graham’s brother and Maree’s son miraculously survived but was airlifted to Mackay Hospital in a critical condition suffering a gunshot wound to the stomach. 

Investigators have confirmed they are speaking to five people who were in the rural property in relation to the incident.

Police do not believe there is any ongoing danger to members of the public. 

Locals say it’s not the first time there’s been an issue between those involved. It’s believed the incident was linked to a property dispute over boundary lines between the owners of two properties in the area.

Maree and Mervyn Schwarz died from gunshots wounds, along with Maree's son Graham Tighe. Another son is hospital

Maree and Mervyn Schwarz died from gunshots wounds, along with Maree’s son Graham Tighe. Another son is hospital

Maree Schwarz was shot dead at the property on Shannonvale Rd, Bogie on Thursday. Her husband and a son were also killed

Maree Schwarz was shot dead at the property on Shannonvale Rd, Bogie on Thursday. Her husband and a son were also killed

Three people are dead while a gunman remains at large in North Queensland. A fourth person was also shot in the stomach and was airlifted to hospital in a critical condition

Three people are dead while a gunman remains at large in North Queensland. A fourth person was also shot in the stomach and was airlifted to hospital in a critical condition

‘We continue to process the crime scene and police do not believe there is any ongoing danger to the public,’ police confirmed on Thursday night.

Police are yet to reveal the genders and ages of the deceased victims. 

The injured man had been able to make his way to another home – which police said was ‘many, many kilometres away’ from where the shooting on a remote property took place – and contacted the authorities. 

He was flown to Mackay Base Hospital to undergo emergency surgery and is now in intensive care in a serious but stable condition.

‘He was able to tell police that he had been shot and three others (were) also shot,’ Inspector Armitt said.

‘We believe the male was able to extract himself from the area. He was fleeing from the scene.’

‘Originally, when the male person spoke to us, he was obviously in a very distressed state and there was some confusion about where the shooting had occurred.

‘We were able to conduct searches ourselves based on the scant information that was provided and we had to update the location as to where the incident occurred based on the crime scene that we located.’ 

A rescue helicopter has been sent to Bogie in rural Queensland after four people were injured in a shooting

A rescue helicopter has been sent to Bogie in rural Queensland after four people were injured in a shooting 

Four people were injured in a shooting in Bogie, near Bowen in north Queensland

Four people were injured in a shooting in Bogie, near Bowen in north Queensland

After searching the area where the injured man was found, police deemed the location safe ‘and a further exclusion zone was established at a property along Shannonvale Road where the shooting is believed to have occurred’.

The shooting took place on a sprawling cattle property which is ‘rural, remote, very hilly and heavily forested’.

‘It has taken a number of hours for police to search and clear the area, however we have declared a crime scene in the remote rural location where we believe we have located three deceased persons,’ Inspector Armitt said.

Neighbours say the property was sold last year to a young family and that there was an ongoing dispute with a neighbouring property owner over boundary lines.

An emergency declaration for the area was issued at around 11.30am. 

‘Investigations remain ongoing into the circumstances leading up to the shooting,’ the police said. 

‘Police are currently conducting emergency operations in the area and requesting members of the public and aircraft to not attend the declared location.’

Police are clearing the ‘extensive’ property and will remain in place ‘as long as we need to do our job’, Acting Superintendent Armitt said.

Though there are no other people living in the exclusion zone, the police have urged everyone to avoid the area. 

A woman who works on Peter Delamothe Road, which connects Bogie to Bowen, earlier told Daily Mail Australia she saw several police cars racing towards scene of the shooting.

‘I saw at least three police cars while I was outside and heard a few more sirens after that,’ she said. 

‘It’s not usually what you see. I thought straight away that something bad had happened.’

The tragedy has rocked the local community.

‘It’s come as a big shock for that particular area and it’s certainly very concerning,’ Burdekin state MP Dale Last said. 

Whitsunday Regional Councillor Jan Clifford added: ‘To my knowledge, nothing like this has ever happened in the Whitsunday region before.

‘We are all deeply saddened by the tragedy.’

Cr Clifford said the community of Bogie – with a population of 207, according to the latest census data – was more of a community than a township.

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

It is understood doctors and nurses with blood supplies and other medical resources were sent from Bowen Hospital to Collinsville Hospital – the closest facility to the shooting – to assist. 

Up to eight ambulances were dispatched from as far as Rockhampton, Mackay and Townsville. 

Elly Colls, who works at Opal Ridge Motel, told the Guardian she learned of the incident at about 11am when someone rang to let them know there had been ‘a shooting at the Bogie’.

‘Better lock up the house,’ she said. ‘Cause I don’t think (they) found him.’

Other locals described the shooting as ‘unusual’ and ‘strange’ for the usually quiet area.

‘We’re traditional owners of this land around Collinsville. I wouldn’t have thought it could happen here. It’s a small town,’ one woman told The Courier Mail.

Another told AAP: ‘The whole town is a bit rattled that something like that could happen here.’

‘We don’t know the full story, but we’ve definitely heard about it. It’s a small town, everyone knows everyone.

‘But out in ‘the boge’? Well, it’s tiny.’

A helicopter is seen at the scene of a mass shooting in rural Queensland where three people were shot dead

A helicopter is seen at the scene of a mass shooting in rural Queensland where three people were shot dead

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