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Bogie shooting: Rural Queensland town at centre of shooting was found during a gold rush

The small community at the center of an alleged mass murder was founded during a gold rush and some residents – including accused gunman Darryl Young – believe they are sitting on a gold mine.

Bogie, the isolated place near Bowen in the inland Whitsunday region of Queensland, is home to about 200 people – just 37 families.

Locals in the close-knit community were shocked on Thursday to learn of an alleged mass shooting at a neighboring farm.

Maree and Mervyn Schwarz, along with Maree’s son Graham Tighe, had been found dead on their 29,000 acre, $10 million property.

The local Young has long been behind bars and accused of their murders.

Another son, Ross Tighe, was hit by a bullet in the stomach but is now up and about after a miraculous escape.

Bogie (pictured), the center of Thursday's mass shooting that killed people, was initially discovered during a gold rush

Bogie (pictured), the center of Thursday’s mass shooting that killed people, was initially discovered during a gold rush

Darryl Young (pictured) has been arrested and charged for the deaths of Maree and Mervyn Schwarz, along with Maree's son Graham Tighe

Darryl Young (pictured) has been arrested and charged for the deaths of Maree and Mervyn Schwarz, along with Maree's son Graham Tighe

Darryl Young (pictured) has been arrested and charged for the deaths of Maree and Mervyn Schwarz, along with Maree’s son Graham Tighe

1659895910 7 Bogie shooting Rural Queensland town at centre of shooting was

1659895910 7 Bogie shooting Rural Queensland town at centre of shooting was

The alleged gunman shared photos of the gold, including one with a hand holding 17 bits of gold and another holding a huge lump on Facebook with the caption: 'I found some gold in Shannonvale this week since my exploration permits were thrown (sic)'

The alleged gunman shared photos of the gold, including one with a hand holding 17 bits of gold and another holding a huge lump on Facebook with the caption: 'I found some gold in Shannonvale this week since my exploration permits were thrown (sic)'

The alleged gunman shared photos of the gold, including one with a hand holding 17 bits of gold and another holding a huge lump on Facebook with the caption: ‘I found some gold in Shannonvale this week since my exploration permits were thrown (sic)’

It was later determined that the photos of the gold had been pulled from a Google image search

It was later determined that the photos of the gold had been pulled from a Google image search

It was later determined that the photos of the gold had been pulled from a Google image search

Police assume the neighbors fell over the boundary lines of their adjacent properties.

Obviously, most lots in Bogie—which is less of a town than a single long, winding gravel road—have no strict boundary lines. Instead, there’s a little bit of give and take.

The Schwarz family purchased 29,000 acres of land adjacent to Young’s 7,700 acres estate in May 2021. They were the fifth owner of the land in 16 years.

Bogie was first settled in 1871 when a herdsman from a nearby station struck gold on what is now known as Normanby Road.

About 30 miners were on hand when the Normanby gold mine first opened. They worked around the country for the next 41 years, dreaming of hitting the jackpot.

A small town was even established, consisting of a hotel, a dairy, a bakery, three shops, two butchers and a blacksmith, as more gold beetles were lured to the area.

But the remoteness and unforgiving nature of the terrain made it too difficult to maintain.

Most left the city shortly after arriving in favor of more profitable gold mines.

However, some Bogie families still hope that the gold that was too hard to find 150 years ago will one day be unearthed on their properties.

Maree and Mervyn Schwarz died of gunshot wounds, along with Maree's son Graham Tighe.  Another son, Ross, is in the hospital

Maree and Mervyn Schwarz died of gunshot wounds, along with Maree's son Graham Tighe.  Another son, Ross, is in the hospital

Maree and Mervyn Schwarz died of gunshot wounds, along with Maree’s son Graham Tighe. Another son, Ross, is in the hospital

Young claimed in 2017 that he had found chunks of gold at his Bogie estate, which was adjacent to land owned by the Schwarz-Tighe family (pictured)

Young claimed in 2017 that he had found chunks of gold at his Bogie estate, which was adjacent to land owned by the Schwarz-Tighe family (pictured)

Young claimed in 2017 that he had found chunks of gold at his Bogie estate, which was adjacent to land owned by the Schwarz-Tighe family (pictured)

In 2017, Young claimed on social media to have found huge chunks of gold on the Shannonvale Road site at the center of Thursday’s alleged mass shooting.

He shared several photos, including one with a hand holding 17 bits of gold and another with a huge lump of gold on Facebook with the caption: ‘I found some gold in Shannonvale this week after my exploration licenses were thrown away (sic)’.

“If this continues, it won’t work for long.”

It was later determined that the photos came from a generic Google image search.

It is unclear whether gold indeed remains in Bogie.

The single winding dirt road through Bogie is a terrifying drive at the best of times, locals say.

Bogie, near Bowen in northern Queensland (shown on map) has only about 200 inhabitants

Bogie, near Bowen in northern Queensland (shown on map) has only about 200 inhabitants

Bogie, near Bowen in northern Queensland (shown on map) has only about 200 inhabitants

TIMELINE OF BOGIE MASS SHOOTING

May 2021: The Schwarz family buys the 300-square-mile Bogie farm for $10 million

Thursday, August 4, 2022

9:00 am: Mervyn and Maree Schwarz, and Maree’s sons Graham and Ross Tighe meet neighbors at the boundary lines of their properties. An altercation ensues and all four are reportedly shot.

Ross escapes and reaches a house a few miles away where he sounds the alarm.

10 hours: Queensland Police confirm they have sent units to a rural home after reports of four people being shot

11 hours: Police announce they have found a man some distance from the property and that he is being treated for gunshot wounds

Police issue an emergency statement and the public is told to avoid the area

4 p.m.: Police confirm three people have died on Bogie .’s property

Friday 5 August 2022

7.15 am: Queensland Police Acting Superintendent Tom Armitt announces alleged gunman has been taken into custody

Every time they pass the unassuming turnoff on their way to Collinsville from Bowen, they are reminded of the tragic deaths.

A lone bouquet of flowers has been left on the corner of Peter Delemothe Road and Normanby Road – the only way in and out of the isolated place.

The 77km dirt road is a black spot for cell phones and the expansive space between the homes makes for a peaceful journey.

Graham Tighe bought the property in May last year with his mother and stepfather.  He is pictured at a wedding

Graham Tighe bought the property in May last year with his mother and stepfather.  He is pictured at a wedding

Graham Tighe bought the property in May last year with his mother and stepfather. He is pictured at a wedding

Warning signs line the first few buildings on the street. It said: ‘Do not enter’, ‘Retreat’ and ‘Entrance by invitation only’.

But even those faint signs of civilization disappear within 15 minutes and are replaced by the powerful smell of dung, herds of cattle and the strange kangaroo.

The Schwarz family property is about 70km along the narrow winding Normanby Road, strewn with rocks and gravel and fringed by dried up creeks.

Kangaroos and huge herds of cows alternate through the street and cross the road at their leisure, making for a nervous ride – especially on blind bends.

It’s easy to see why police said they faced “tough” conditions during the early stages of the investigation on Thursday.

Forced into uncharted territory, first responders had to scour the dried-up creek beds and overgrown terrain for clues.

After a lengthy search, the police were able to contact Young and four other employees who were taken for questioning.

Young was charged with three counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.

He will face the Proserpine Magistrates Court Monday morning.

Ross Tighe, pictured with his partner Kaitlyn, is recovering in hospital after reportedly being shot in the stomach

Ross Tighe, pictured with his partner Kaitlyn, is recovering in hospital after reportedly being shot in the stomach

Ross Tighe, pictured with his partner Kaitlyn, is recovering in hospital after reportedly being shot in the stomach

HOW CRITICALLY WOUNDED FATHER WAS ABLE TO LET THE ALARM ABOUT MASS SHOOTING

It is believed that young father Ross Tighe notified authorities of the critical situation as he suffered a gunshot wound to the abdomen.

The injured man was able to find his way to another house – which police said was “many, many miles” from where the shooting took place in a remote site – and contacted authorities.

He was flown to Mackay Base Hospital to undergo emergency surgery and was in a serious but stable condition in intensive care. He is now ‘up and about’.

“He was able to tell the police that he had been shot and three others (were) shot as well,” Inspector Armitt said.

“We think the male managed to free himself from the area. He fled from the scene.’

“Originally, when the male person spoke to us, he was clearly in a very distressed state and there was some confusion about where the shooting had taken place.

“We were able to search ourselves based on the sparse information provided and we had to update the location where the incident took place based on the crime scene we found.”

After searching the area where the injured man was found, police deemed the location safe “and a further exclusion zone has been established on an area along Shannonvale Road where the shooting is believed to have taken place”.

The shooting took place on a vast cattle ranch that is “rural, remote, very hilly and heavily wooded.”

“It took several hours for the police to search and clear the area, but we have declared a crime scene in the remote rural location where we believe we have found three people who died,” Inspector Armitt said.

An emergency declaration was issued for the area around 11:30 a.m.

“The circumstances leading up to the shooting are still under investigation,” the police said.

“Police are currently conducting emergency operations in the area and are asking local residents and aircraft not to visit the indicated location.”

Police are clearing the “extensive” property and will remain in place “as long as we have to do our job,” Acting Superintendent Armitt said.

Although no other people live in the exclusion zone, police have urged everyone to avoid the area.

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