A gunman shot at a car full of passengers and then hijacked another vehicle before stalking a female driver and turning the firearm on himself in a wild shooting spree.
The man shot at five people in a black Mitsubishi Triton ute on the Albany Highway in North Bannister, in Western Australia, at 5.20pm on Saturday.
The wild shooting spree ended almost seven hours later just after midnight when he turned the gun on himself and his body was found in a stolen car.
The Triton, carrying a driver and four passengers, pulled over to assist the occupants of a red Holden Commodore which appeared to have crashed.
A man has died after a wild almost seven-hour drama in which a gunman shot at a car, hijacked another vehicle, stalked a female driver and finally shot himself in the head. Pictured: stock image of a police crime scene.
One person got out of the ute and ran to the Commodore, only to have a gun pointed at them by a man who emerged from bushes at the roadside with a woman.
‘The woman ran in front of the Triton utility and the man pointed the firearm towards the occupants inside the vehicle,’ WA Police said.
‘As the driver of the Triton utility attempted to drive away, the man discharged one round into the passenger side window, with the firearm projectiles travelling through the front cab area and exiting through the driver’s side window.’
When the Triton raced back to collect the occupant who originally got out to help, the gunman shot at the vehicle a second time, again hitting it.
‘As the Triton utility came back into the area, the male offender discharged a second round into the rear of the utility.
‘None of the occupants of the vehicle were injured,’ the spokeswoman said.
Police said the occupants of the red Commodore stopped another vehicle, a gold Volvo BZ station wagon, that also stopped by the roadside.
Again, the Volvo occupants had a gun pointed at them and this time, the occupants got out and surrendered their car.
‘The offenders fled in the stolen Volvo station wagon,’ police said.
The stolen car was involved in another highway drama at 10.30pm, when a man cops received reports that ‘a man followed a woman driving in Merredin and pointed a firearm towards her’.
Around 11pm the gold Volvo was spotted by cops at a nearby service station. When its driver saw police, he ‘fled at speed’.
Police followed the car at a distance, and issued an emergency text message warning the 2400 residents of Merredin community ‘advising [them] to remain inside and secure their premises’.
Then 45 minutes later, a 24-year-old woman in the stolen Volvo got out of the car and was arrested.
Police followed the car at a distance, and issued an emergency text message warning the 2400 residents of Merredin community ‘advising [them] to remain inside and secure their premises’ (stock image)
Just moments before the turmoil ended a horrified passenger in yet another vehicle claimed to have been cut off by an ‘out of control car’ then witnessed its driver put a ‘rifle’ in this mouth.
‘Leaving Merredin and we nearly get rammed by an out of control car, they pull up and cut us off with no where to go,’ the woman posted to social media.
‘Cops pull up and scream for them to get out the car and get on the floor then bam old mate in the driver seat puts a rifle in his mouth. Literally one metre away from us.’
WA Police confirmed in a statement to Daily Mail Australia that a stolen Volvo station wagon – which the gunman had hijacked at Bannister – ‘came to a stop on Great Eastern Highway in Merredin’ at 12.05am.
‘Police approached the vehicle and found the male driver unconscious and unresponsive with an apparent self-inflicted injury to his head,’ a police spokeswoman said.
‘They were unable to revive the man, who has not been formally identified.’
WA Police Major Crime Division officers will investigate the circumstances surrounding the man’s death.
Officers urge anyone who saw, or who has dash-cam vision of the stolen gold Volvo BZ station wagon in the Bannister and Merredin areas between 6pm on Saturday 21 October and 12.30am on Sunday 22 October 2023, to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.