Shooting victim wrong colour
A BOY was shot in a random drive-by shooting this week because he was believed to be Aboriginal, the Rockhampton Magistrates Court heard yesterday.
The court was told Hayden John Nitz, 17, had obtained an air rifle and then driven around Rockhampton streets with the intention of shooting Aboriginal people on Australia Day.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Darrell Dalton alleged Nitz had seen a young boy walking along Richardson Road about 4.20pm on Thursday, turned his car around, shot the boy in the back, laughed and drove off.
Nitz has been charged with the unlawful wounding of the boy, but has not yet entered a plea.
Nitz was also charged with intending to disable and maim with a projectile and a weapons offence act.
During an application for bail yesterday, Senior Constable Dalton said Nitz was an unacceptable risk to the public.
He said Nitz may try to influence the testimony of witnesses, believed to be friends of his travelling in a convoy behind him.
Meanwhile, defence solicitor Ken Bressington said it was just a "stupid stunt gone wrong.''
He said Nitz "emphatically denied'' the witness statements, calling them "inflammatory.''
Mr Bressington said Nitz, a second-year apprentice, had co-operated with police and never been on bail before.
Nitz had grown up in Rockhampton and lived with his parents, who were sitting in court yesterday.
Magistrate Annette Hennessy said while she realised Nitz had the support of his family, she was not satisfied he would not be a risk to the public.
She denied Nitz's application for bail and remanded him in custody until April 3.
"These charges are very serious despite allegations of a slug gun being the weapon,'' she said.
Late yesterday another 17-yearold, of The Caves, was co-charged with the same offences as Nitz. He will appear in Rockhampton Magistrates Court today.