On Sunday 15th April 2012, a man we had met the day before, approached our camp, near Tenterfield. He was immediately aggressive and when we objected, he pulled out a large knife and threatened all 10 of us. He continued to hold us hostage with threats and acts of violence which led to three people being punched and hit, one person dislocating his shoulder and all of us being traumatised.
A few of us managed to escape and get to Tenterfield to alert the police because we were out of phone range. When the police arrived, he was about to stab a woman with a knife. When the police confronted him he dropped the knife and ran into the bush. The police then instructed us to pack up and leave the site under their escort.
We were about to leave when he appeared before our convoy brandishing a fully armed crossbow with five bolts. He demanded of the police to place their weapons on the hood of their police vehicle. As he continued his approach the officers continually pleaded that he drop his crossbow and that they did not want him to get hurt. Two of our group were in the assailants line of fire. He then threatened the female officer and she shot a tazer at him, but missed and the male officer, immediately defended us and shot the man.
We tried to save him with CPR. We bought him back to live twice. This continued until we were exhausted. His pulse faded minutes after the shooting, but we continued to try to revive him.
We mourn his loss, even though we did not know him and he was not accustomed to our ways. His threats were signs of attention seeking but they were very real nonetheless.
We would like to thank the police officers who came to our aid. Without their actions, not all of us would probably not be writing this.
That the media paint the police in a less than glorious light, is an offence to decency. They were and are, our champions and we are forever in their debt.