Former gun shop owner charged with attempted murder
A WOMAN was forced to cower under a car for safety after she was shot in the face by an attacker over a business arrangement that turned sour, police will allege.
Witnesses who rushed to her aid have said the woman was covered in blood and lucky to be alive after being shot.
Shane Cregan, 47, allegedly stormed the Rangewood Gibraltar Rd property armed with two guns before firing a single shot into the woman's face about 8am on Wednesday.
Cregan has been charged with seven offences, including attempted murder.
He has also been charged with acts intended to cause grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning bodily harm while armed with a dangerous weapon, enter premises and commit an indictable offence, possession of an unregistered firearm, unlawful possession of a category H handgun used to commit an indictable offence and unlawful possession of a category R weapon used to commit an indictable offence.
The Alice River man was denied bail and is due to appear in Townsville Magistrates Court today.
Police will allege Cregan, a former gun shop owner, wrestled with the injured woman until she managed to crawl under a car to escape.
The woman's husband also tried to fight off her attacker but suffered a foot injury.
Hero tradies working across the street heard the ordeal and rushed to their aid.
"We ran in (the driveway) and we could see her under the car. (We) sprinted straight to the car and tried lifting," one tradie said.
He said as his boss went to check the car, thinking the woman was stuck, a man struck him in the head with a hammer.
Police said neighbours ran to help and were able to restrain the alleged offender and provide first aid.
"There was blood everywhere. Blood all over the car, blood all over the ground," the tradie said.
"(A) gun was under the car. Which I didn't know it was there, we had no idea there was a gun. It couldn't have been worse."
The woman, her husband and the tradie were all taken to hospital.
The woman, 40, remains in Townsville Hospital in a stable condition.
Cregan was taken into custody at the scene.
Townsville Police District Acting Detective Inspector Phil Watts said it would be alleged the attack was over a business arrangement that had turned sour.
Detectives believe it was the only connection between the two.
"My understanding is it was the provisions of services by the defendant and … there was a dispute over the payment," he said.
"It was quite an extreme reaction to what could be considered quite a minor matter."
Cregan was a part-owner of the Townsville Gun Shop until at least 2016, business records show.
He also owns Solar Pest Systems, a business that works to "effectively keep birds, possums, rats, snakes and other unwanted pests away" from solar panels, roofs and other "problem areas" in homes or businesses.
Investigators are still trying to determine which gun was fired.
"It's almost freakish that you can be shot in the face and still be with us. She's certainly very lucky. She should buy a casket ticket," Insp Watts said.
Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto said he was "extremely concerned" to hear of the shooting.
"My thoughts and prayers are with those injured and I wish them all a speedy recovery," he said.
"I commend police for their efforts in bringing this very serious situation under control in a timely manner."
Queensland Ambulance Service Senior Operations Supervisor Tony Kirkham said four patients were assessed at the scene.
"It obviously had been a chaotic scene and quite distressing (but) by the time we arrived, it was well under control."