Three central Victorian men honoured with bravery awards

Three central Victorian men will be honoured with bravery awards today for protecting others from an armed attacker and rescuing a man trapped in an oven.

Kerang men David Alan Gray and Kenneth John Byrne and Newstead man Dale Edwards will be presented with Royal Humane Society of Australasia bravery awards at Government House in Melbourne this morning.

HONOURED: Kerang men Kenneth John Byrne and David Alan Gray; and Newstead man Dale Edwards. Picture: Norm Oorloff

HONOURED: Kerang men Kenneth John Byrne and David Alan Gray; and Newstead man Dale Edwards. Picture: Norm Oorloff

Mr Gray and Mr Byrne will receive silver medals for going to the rescue of a woman and six children from an armed man, who had just murdered his partner in Kerang on August 9, 2014.

The assailant, 43-year-old Greg Murray, shot his partner in their Murrabit West house, before driving to the home of his former wife and her current husband, Mr Gray, armed with a shot gun.

When Mr Gray refused to leave the house to speak to Murray, he fired two shots into the door, hitting his former partner in the neck and injuring Mr Gray.

Six children were at home at the time, including three of Murray’s.

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The mother of five of the children managed to flee through the back door with three of the children, with the remaining children asleep in the lounge room.

Mr Gray confronted Murray and tried to wrestled the gun from him, before Mr Byrne, a neighbour arrived.

Mr Byrne heard the initial shots and calls for help from Mr Gray and grabbed a knife from the kitchen for possible self defence before running to the scene.  

Mr Bryne grabbed Murray by the shoulders when he arrived and dragged him away from Mr Gray.

Murray then fled the scene and was later found dead at his Murrabit West home.

Mr Gray received pellet wounds to his chest and shoulder as a result of the shooting, while the woman was treated in Melbourne for injuries to her hand and neck.

Police at the time said it was a horrific crime, and traumatic for all involved.

"The children were actually in the lounge room and heard the knock at the door and woke up the adults in the house," Inspector Jamie Templeton said at the time.

Emergency services at the scene of the Bakers Delight workplace accident, where a man's hand became trapped in an oven.

Emergency services at the scene of the Bakers Delight workplace accident, where a man's hand became trapped in an oven.

Mr Edwards will receive a certificate of merit for his efforts in rescuing a Bakers Delight worker in January this year, whose hand became trapped in an oven.

The worker’s hand became trapped in the oven – set to 230 degrees – when trays of bread from a trolley began to fall. 

Mr Edwards heard the man’s cries for help and ran over to the bakery, putting his own hand in to help.

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Mr Edwards suffered minor burns to his elbow and knee along with a dislocated shoulder, while the worker received major burns to his hands and was sent to Melbourne for treatment.

Police and passers-by praised Mr Edwards’ efforts in freeing the man on the day, labelling him a “hero”.

Seventeen others will be recognised at the Melbourne ceremony today, alongside the central Victorian men with awards that recognise rescues from assault and armed assailants, car accidents, attempted suicide, rescues from rivers and lakes and a burning house.