A ‘jealous’ man who gunned down his romantic rival then turned the weapon on a woman in front of her two children before ending his own life has been identified after the horrific tragedy.
Police were called to a house on William Street in Devonport, northwest Tasmania, following reports of shots being fired just before 1am on Saturday.
Paul Carey, 35, had entered the home and opened fire on ‘kind soul’ Chris Walters, 32, who recently became a father.
He then shot a woman, 38, in the abdomen, while her 10-year-old son and one-year-old baby were in the home.
Miraculously the woman survived and was able to raise the alarm with next door neighbours before eventually being rushed to Launceston hospital.
Detective inspector Kim Steven said police heard a gunshot as they arrived and believed it was Carey taking his own life.
‘Jealous’ man Paul Carey, 35, gunned down his romantic rival then turned the weapon on a woman in front of her two children before ending his own life
Tasmania Police said they are still examining the motive of the shocking case but suspect the gunman was driven by a jealous rage.
‘There’s a connection between all three people involved and there’s certainly indications of jealousy that may be involved in this,’ Inspector Steven said.
Investigators are now calling on the public’s help to ‘establish the source’ of the decades old weapon used in the triple-shooting.
Police say the Winchester shotgun was obtained by Carey ‘in the past three months’.
But the weapon was imported legally in the 1970s, prior to the Firearms Act 1996 in the wake of the Port Author mascara, but had never been registered.
Carey did not hold a firearms licence and anyone who may have any information about how he was able to acquire the shotgun is urged to contact police, without fear of prosecution.
‘Illegal firearms pose a significant risk to the community, as we have seen with the tragic events of yesterday. These events will have a lifelong impact on the families involved,’ Inspector Steven said.
‘I encourage anyone who has, or has knowledge of, illegal firearms, to hand them in.’
Family of Chris Walters (pictured) say ‘he was great, [would] do anything for anyone, especially his family’
The heartbroken family of Mr Walters told the ABC he was a ‘kind soul’ that only became a father just weeks earlier.
‘He was over the moon… I’ve got six kids of my own and Chris was great with my kids,’ his cousin Mark Walters said.
‘When my daughter was younger he would rock her in front of the heater for hours. He was like a big teddy bear.
‘He was great, do anything for anyone, especially his family.’
Shooting victim Chris Walters (centre) is pictured with cousin Mark (left) who says he was a ‘kind soul’
Although the children who were in the house at the time did not sustain any physical injuries, Inspector Steven said ‘the 10-year-old boy witnessed a fair portion of what occurred’.
‘They are being seen to by a psychologist and are in care of their grandmother at the moment,’ he said.
‘There are immediate concerns for the welfare of the children and the surviving lady who is at the hospital.
Detective inspector Stevens said body-worn camera footage taken by police at the scene was ‘pretty confronting’ and all emergency services who attended are being given ongoing welfare support.
‘We are trained for this, but it is only a very small amount of police who will have attended a scene like that, with basically an active person, or shots being fired,’ he said.
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