Brazen drive-by shooting has father afraid for his family
GATTON is the last place most people would expect to hear about a brazen, drive-by shooting in broad daylight.
Unfortunately, this is exactly the nightmare that hay farmer Neil Schimke and his family had to endure.
Twice in the past month, the door of Neil's Robinsons Rd shed in Gatton has been shot at by unknown offenders from a moving vehicle.
On May 24, Neil was inside the shed when the bullet punctured the door and ricocheted off the ceiling at 11.49am.
Neil was fixing farm equipment at the rear of the shed, when the bullet ripped through the shed door, reflected off the roof and missed his head at the rear of the shed by mere metres.
"It was friggin' loud," he said.
"It's not a quiet bang, and a bit of a ting on the tin. It was a loud bang," he said.
Despite police forensics searches, Neil said the bullet has not been found. Two weeks later on June 18, another shot was taken, though fortunately there was no one in the shed.
At the time, Neil and his workers were across the road, working in the farm. He estimated the shot was fired between 11.30am and 1.30pm.
On both occasions, Neil contacted police, who he says took the matter very seriously. Neil's family have owned the land for more than 70 years, and his two young sons often spend time in the shed.
Because of the shootings Neil's wife and grandmother, who lives across the road, are reluctant to go visit farm, and his sons and workers no longer visit the shed.
"They've actually stopped working in here," he said.
"The wife and kids are pretty scared. They're not scared to leave the house, go out and do their normal stuff in town, but they're less likely to come out on the farm."
"It puts pressure on your home life."
"It's not right that you can't feel safe in your own property."
It isn't just Neil's family who are potentially endangered by these attacks.
The surrounding land is all farms and fields, which are constantly utilised by farmworkers.
"If someone's swinging a gun around shooting in the middle of the day, there's a lot of people that work in the fields out here," Neil said.
Neil said he was shocked by the incidents. His shed is the only building on the street that has been targeted, leaving him baffled as to why anyone would choose to shoot at his shed.
"We have a great relationship with every customer that we have, and all our neighbours," he said.
"I'm not sure if there's anything sinister behind it, or if it's just a joke to someone, but there's no safety thought going out to anyone being in here."
Gatton police released a CCTV still image of the vehicle in question on Monday. Anyone with further information is urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.