A community is in shock after a young girl was shot in front of her four-year-old cousin at Deloraine.
The 11-year-old girl is recovering at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne after a 25-year-old man allegedly shot her in the face following a dispute between his girlfriend and the victim’s mother.
Meander Valley Mayor Craig Perkins said the “tragic incident” had impacted people throughout the region.
“It’s a typical rural community, people are well-connected and it will have an impact beyond the immediate family,” he said.
“One good thing is that small communities rally around each other. We wish the young girl a quick recovery and that she receives the support she needs and the family is also supported.”
Neighbours who were nearby during the alleged incident said they were still shaken up the following day.
One neighbour said it was "daunting" to have the shooting happen so close to home.
Another was home with his two young children when he heard “yelling” and saw “police everywhere”.
“I was so shaken up I couldn’t even take the girls to school,” he said.
The young victim’s classmates at Deloraine Primary School are also receiving support.
The Education Department released a statement on Wednesday following the incident in Stagg Court about 9pm Tuesday.
“This is a terribly sad time for the family and the school community,” a spokesperson said.
“The department is ensuring professional support is being provided to all students and staff who may be affected.
“All schools have measures in place to ensure the welfare of staff and students is prioritised during difficult times such as this.”
The school has about 370 students from 250 families living in the surrounding rural areas.
Messages of support for the young girl and her family were shared online.
Tameaka Sheridan Parker said she was sending her love to “these poor children”.
“I hope this little girl makes a full recovery,” she said.
“My prayers go out to the family, poor little girl. I hope she recovers but it will be a long rehabilitation for her psychologically,” Michelle McGurk said.
“Thinking of the girl and her family, wishing her a speedy recovery. The Melbourne kids hospital is amazing you'll be in good hands there,” Kel Baxter-Tomkins said.
The incident at Deloraine was just days after a three-year-old girl shot herself in the neck with her father’s gun in New South Wales.
The toddler died and her father was charged with firearm offences.
Both tragedies gained national media attention and sparked debate about firearm laws.
The gun allegedly at the centre of the Deloraine shooting has not been recovered.
Deloraine man Nathan Campbell was arrested by police on Tuesday night.
He was charged with causing grievous bodily harm and recklessly discharging a firearm.
He appeared in the Launceston Magistrates Court on Wednesday afternoon, but did not enter a plea.
Magistrate Simon Brown remanded him to reappear on Friday.
Family and friends called out “love you, Nathan” as he was taken back into custody.
Investigations into the incident are continuing with police still seeking witnesses to both the incident at Woolwoorths and the shooting at Deloraine.
Anyone with information should contact Tasmania Police on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
- The Examiner has chosen not to reveal the identity of the 11-year-old girl out of respect for her and her family.