Three dead in Wedderburn shooting


UPDATE Friday 2.17pm: Ian Jamieson, 63, has appeared in a Bendigo court via video link charged with the murder of three people - Greg Holmes, 48, his mother Mary Lockhart, 75, and her husband Peter Lockhart, 78. 

Jamieson did not apply for bail and has been remanded in custody to return to court on January 21 for a committal mention.

UPDATE Friday 1.09pm: Greg Holmes' stepmother, Margaret Holmes, says the entire family is “devastated”.

“It’s just left so many people devastated. Gregory was only 48 years old and he has two children,” she said.

Ms Holmes - who was married to Greg’s father, David, until he died eight years ago - said she’d known Greg since he was 14.

“He served in Iraq for about 6 months during the Iraq war …[and] has four siblings, who lost their brother in an instant.

“It’s inconceivable.”

Ms Holmes said she had always “hated guns”, and that “there needs to be something done about them” in Australia.

“Because in a country town there’s a lot of farms around, people think they should be allowed to have guns,” she told Fairfax Media.

“And I know that they’re legal, but you just never know whose hands they will end up in.”

- Caroline Zielinski, The Age

UPDATE Friday 8.45am:

The Age is reporting locals said a minor feud had erupted between the neighbours – with some suggestions the disagreement in the tiny town was triggered by stirred-up dust settling on drying washing.

There was also a suggestion of a dispute over a road.

Detective Senior Constable Jason Wallace told Thursday night's hearing that Mr Holmes contacted police at 8.20pm on Wednesday to report a disturbance with his neighbour.

For the full story follow this link.

UPDATE Friday 7.10am: 

A 63-year-old man charged with three counts of murder following the shooting death of three people in Wedderburn on Wednesday night will face court today. 

Ian Jamieson was remanded in custody at an out-of-sessions hearing at Bendigo Police Station overnight.

He will appear in the Bendigo Magistrates' Court sometime today. 

UPDATE Thursday 10.10pm: Ian Jamieson, 63, has been remanded in custody at an out-of-sessions hearing at Bendigo Police Station tonight. 

Jamieson has been charged with the murder of three people - Greg Holmes, 48, his mother Mary Lockhart, 75, and her husband Peter Lockhart, 78. 

Detective Senior Constable Jason Wallace told the hearing that Mr Holmes contacted police at 8.20pm on Wednesday to report a disturbance with his neighbour. 

He said police could not locate Mr Holmes but did see two campers in the vicinity.

Police called Mr Holmes' mobile and heard it ringing in a nearby paddock, where they located his body with gun shot wounds. 

Detective Senior Constable Wallace said police then heard a number of gun shots and left the scene with the campers. 

After police had returned to Wedderburn Police Station, Jamieson phoned triple 0 and told police he had murdered three people. 

Police arrested Jamieson after a four-hour siege. 

They found Mr and Mrs Lockhart at their property, also with gunshot wounds. 

Homicide investigations are ongoing and Jamieson has been remanded in custody until a court appearance at a later date. 

UPDATE Thursday 9.55pm: A man has been charged with three counts of murder following the shooting death of three people at Wedderburn. 

UPDATE Thursday 1.15pm: Peter Lockhart, president of the Wedderburn Historical Engine and Machinery Society, his wife, Mary, and her son, Greg Holmes, are the three people who were killed in Wedderburn overnight, Fairfax Media can confirm.

The editor of the Wedderburn Historical Engine and Machinery Society's newsletter, Geoff Maxwell, said Peter Lockhart was a "good member and a good worker".

"He joined the engine club after he retired, and has been a good member and a good worker," Mr Maxwell said.

"He's lived here all his life and I've been here for 50 years ... so I've known him for a while."

Mr Maxwell said Greg Holmes lived "across the road from Peter and Mary".

UPDATE Thursday 12.40pm: A Wedderburn shop owner has described the "huge shock" the town is in after last night's triple murder.

The owner said the town "always seems to be in the news for some reason or another", but it was important to remember it is just a "nice little town".

"No one really knows what happened yet for certain," she said.

"We've had a few real bad news stories lately."

Wedderburn resident Gavan said it felt like a "dark cloud" was hanging over the town.

Others on the main street were in disbelief that a minor dispute could end in three deaths.

"Most people know everyone around here," one resident said.

"Both men were loners, we hardly heard anything from them.

"It's just a huge shock."

UPDATE Thursday 12.25pm: A man being questioned in relation to the shooting death of three people in Wedderburn overnight has received minor medical treatment at Bendigo Health. 

The man arrived at the hospital mid morning with what was believed to be an injury to the hand, before leaving the hospital's emergency department about 12.25pm.

UPDATE Thursday 11.43am: The town of Wedderburn is reeling after the shooting death of three of their own and another in custody being questioned by police.

The couple in their 70s and their son, 48, are believed to be part of a well-known and respected farming family who have been in the area for generations.

Locals in the main street, still waiting for confirmation of those involved, spoke of their shock.

"Until we know which family, who we can step into support, it's hard to know how to feel," Jenni, a shop owner said,

"I know what it was like when we lost a family of three kids (in a house fire some years ago), I know what we've been through. It's a country town, country people. We'll all step in."

It's believed the man questioned by police has been in the town for at least two decades.

UPDATE Thursday 11.30am: Loddon Shire mayor and Wedderburn Ward councillor Gavan Holt, said the "older deceased man was a fourth-generation farmer in the region".

"His wife was his second, and the younger deceased male was the woman's son, and the farmer's stepson," Cr Holt said.

He said the shooting had shocked the town of about 1000, and that it was "unbelievable what people do in a rage". 

"We've got three people shot over a minor matter in a little country town - it's just shocking," Cr Holt told Fairfax Media. 

Cr Holt said he knew both the suspect and the deceased well, and that the suspect's sons had previously worked on his farm.

"All you can do is respect and support the family and friends of those involved," he said. 

Counselling will be provided to anyone who needs it, Cr Holt said. 

UPDATE Thursday 10.37am: Police have released a statement to the media saying Homicide Squad detectives are continuing to investigate the shootings.

They have confirmed the body of the man in his 40s was found at the first property they attended on Wedderburn-Logan Road.

The bodies of the couple in their 70s were found at a nearby property on the same road, after the suspected shooter had been arrested.

UPDATE Thursday 9.15am: Police have confirmed the man in custody is a 63-year-old male, and the three people killed were a man and woman in their 70s, and the woman's son, in his 40s.

At a media conference this morning in Wedderburn, Detective Superintendent Peter De Santo said while the families have had a history of minor disputes, there was no indication of "major domestic violence or ongoing assaults between these people".

Detective Superintendent De Santo said the dispute was "at the very bottom end of disputes between neighbours".

"This is out to the blue, and as I've said, this has escalated out of a minor neighbourhood dispute," he said.

"It's just very hard to fathom how this has all unfolded," he said.

The firearms used in the shooting were registered and were recently inspected by the police.

"Victoria police found [the firearms] to be compliant ... and there is no history of domestic violence or violence in regards to these people." - with The Age

The first police briefing early Thursday morning, after the shootings. Video: BENDIGO ADVERTISER

UPDATE Thursday 7.41am: Three people from the same family are dead and a man has been arrested following a shooting and siege near Wedderburn last night.

Police were called to a property at Mulga Ridge Road, about 8.30pm on Wednesday after reports of gunfire in the area.

Superintendent Graham Kent said when officers arrived, they found a dead body in a paddock before hearing gunshots.

A siege lasting four hours followed, with the accused eventually surrendering to police.

Following the arrest, police searched nearby properties and located two other bodies in the yard of an adjoining property.

"We have not yet been able to formally identity and confirm verification with next of kin, [but] what we can say is that there are three people who are deceased, and they're all from the same family," he said.

"It's a very tragic situation and especially in such a small community - this will impact a lot of people."

UPDATE Thursday 12.43am:  Three people have died in a shooting in Wedderburn tonight after a suspected neighbourhood dispute. 

Superintendent Graham Kent from Western Victoria addressed the media at 12.40am and confirmed the three fatalities. 

He said police first attended a rural property near Wedderburn-Logan Road just before 8.30pm after reports of gunshots. 

It was here they located a body. 

A four-hour siege between police and the accused followed. 

"There were gunshots when police arrived and after a risk assessment, they withdrew from the scene," he said. 

"The suspect later contacted police on the phone and we were aware of other firearms being used." 

He said police then negotiated with the accused to organise a peaceful surrender plan. 

"After several hours, just before midnight, the suspect was arrested," he said. 

"Police then searched a nearby property where two more deceased people were located."

Superintendent Kent said the victims all had gunshot wounds but were yet to be identified. 

It is believed they were also from the local area. 

"It's a very tragic situation and especially in such a small community - this will impact a lot of people," he said. 

"The accused's wife was also present at the time of the incident and is helping police with their inquiries. 

"We believe the parties were known to each other but this is still very early days."

Homicide detectives, local and specialist police and the dog squad all attended the scene, with investigations ongoing. 

Superintendent Kent said police had been presented with a very dynamic situation but had carried out a thorough risk assessment to ensure safety was paramount. 

"The decision to withdraw has kept further community members and our officers safe from injury," he said. 

"The first shots occurred in an open space and the second incident took place at a reasonable distance away, which was connected by roadways.

"Because of this, we are dealing with a complex, large scene and are now reaching out for information from the public to help determine what exactly caused this."

If you have any information about the incident, call Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000. 

UPDATE Thursday 12.26am: Eight other vehicles have just arrived on scene. 

It is unknown what they are here for. 

UPDATE Thursday 12.03am: More police have arrived at Wedderburn-Logan Road and are driving to the rural property where the incident occurred. Several members of the public are also congregating at the intersection. 

It is believed one person has been killed, with fears for two other people believed to be shot. 

Police will address the media shortly. 

UPDATE Wednesday 11.47pm: Police and SOG are currently on scene negotiating with the accused. 

UPDATE Wednesday 11.37pm: The Special Operations Group have arrived on scene. 

It appears they are going to the scene of the incident, where the accused is believed to be located. 

Police were called to the property at 8.30pm today, with investigations continuing. 

It is believed three people have been shot. 

UPDATE Wednesday 11pm: Several police and ambulance officers are on scene at Wedderburn-Logan Road, where it is believed shots have been fired. 

The road has been blocked to traffic and media remain at the intersection of Calder Highway and Wedderburn-Logan Road. 

There are also several members of the public standing at the intersection. 

More to come. 

UPDATE Wednesday 10.15pm: Police have been called to a Wedderburn premises just before 8.30pm where it is believed shots have been fired. 

A Victoria Police spokesperson said it was unknown whether there have been any fatalities at this stage.

The spokesperson said police are negotiating with a man in a nearby residence and it is unknown if anyone else is in the house. 

The incident is ongoing. 

More to come. 

EARLIER: POLICE are enroute to Wedderburn this evening in response to a serious incident. 

Victoria Police Media was unable to provide the Bendigo Advertiser with any further information. 

Updates will be provided as they come to hand. 


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