A day before a volunteer medic shot his colleague, opened fire on passing cars and sparked a massive manhunt, he sat down to a quiet lunch at a local bakery and chatted politely with the staff.
Lachlan Bowles, 25, shot father-of-one Terry Czernowski at Moylan Grain Silos – where the two worked – at around 8.40am on Thursday before fleeing and eventually turning the gun on himself.
Tony Downs, owner of Kellerberrin Pie Shop and Bakery, is devastated after the day’s tragic events in the small Wheat Belt community – 200 km east of Perth.
“He was here at lunch yesterday,” Mr. Downs said The West Australian. “I asked ‘How are you?'” and he was “fine.”
“He’s always been a quiet guy, but you don’t expect him to turn around, pick up a gun and shoot someone.”
“Apparently something happened at work that caused him to go up and shoot him along with two other people.”
Volunteer paramedic Lachlan Bowles, 25 (pictured), shot father-of-one Terry Czernowski at around 8.40am on Thursday before going on the run.
After the murder Washington police launched a manhunt for Bowles before tactical police cornered him just outside Kellerberrin on a rural property.
He wore a camouflage uniform, waved a Nazi flag and wore a swastika.
Police cordoned off the area and helicopters were ordered not to fly over it for fear they could be shot down – and police said at least one car was shot at as Bowles fled.
Armed officers cornered Bowles in a field before he shot himself. Police later confirmed he had died.
Bowles, who holds a firearms license and had two guns registered, was said to have been armed with at least one weapon with a range of 3km.
Local said he loved guns and was a member of the Kellerberrin pistol club – he even won awards for his marksmanship.
He had dreamed of following others in his family and serving in the army.
However, those plans were dashed in 2016 when he failed a psychological evaluation and was rejected.
Terry Czernowski, father of one, was shot dead at Moylan Grain Silos
Armed officers cornered Bowles in a field before he shot himself. Police later confirmed he had died
TIMELINE OF TERROR
8:40 a.m: Lachlan Bowles shoots Terry Czernowski at Moylan Grain Silos
9:23 a.m: Police warn residents to stay indoors
9:44 a.m: Police say man ‘fired a gun’
10:31 a.m: Everyone in Kellerberrin and Bencubbin is asked to stay indoors
2:10 p.m: Police locate Lachlan Bowles
16.30 o’clock: Police confirm Bowles dead
It is unclear what Bowles’ motive was, but WA regional commander Rod Wilde said police believe it was a workplace dispute.
Bowles, a volunteer paramedic from St. John’s who is believed to have no criminal record, owned two registered firearms and carried a high-powered rifle and a handgun during his rampage.
A local told Daily Mail Australia that Bowles went to his workplace at the Moylan Grain Silos in Kellerberrin and “shot someone about 25 times.”
“My colleagues were working down the street and I heard a few shots and then the town was swarming with cops,” he said.
Mitchell Harvey, a local sheep shearer, said a farmer miraculously survived after approaching Bowles.
“A farmer checking his paddock drove past him and asked if he needed a ride and he shot his door,” Mr Harvey said western australian.
“I saw him this morning on the way to work. I had no idea he was going there to kill someone.’
An alert SMS was sent to local residents today as the situation escalated.
All facilities and public events in the Shire of Merredin, which includes Kellerberrin, were canceled on Thursday and armored police vans patrolled the tense scene
Mr. Bowles is a volunteer paramedic in St. John WA and received a 2021 Merit Award
The father of one child, Terry Czernowski, was shot dead in Moylan Grain Silos
Residents of Kellerberrin, 200km east of Perth, were told by police to stay indoors after shots were fired at a grain silo in the area around 8.40am on Thursday
“Residents in the area are being asked to remain vigilant.” “It has been confirmed that a man has since died and homicide is investigating,” police said.
All facilities and public events in the Shire of Merredin, which includes Kellerberrin, were canceled until further notice as armored police vehicles patrolled the tense scene.
Bowles was a volunteer paramedic in St John WA and was recognized for his services to the community on Australia Day 2021.
Locals described Bowles as a “good boy” while expressing dismay at reports that he was allegedly involved in the shooting.
“He was a good boy from a good family,” wrote one.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the police immediately.
For confidential 24-hour support in Australia, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Bowles was a volunteer paramedic in St John WA and was recognized for his services to the community on Australia Day 2021
Kellerberrin locals received a text message warning them to stay indoors during the incident