A regular to the Nobby General Store, dog ‘Pumpkin’, sits outside the store, where the shooting happened on Sunday.
A regular to the Nobby General Store, dog ‘Pumpkin’, sits outside the store, where the shooting happened on Sunday. Emma Channon

4WD believed to be part of robbery

A FOUR-WHEEL-DRIVE with a bull bar is believed to be the second vehicle involved in Sunday’s armed robbery and shooting at the Nobby General Store.

Police are seeking the help of local residents to help track down the man responsible for shooting Gino Gomez and escaping in his car.

Warwick Police officer in charge of the Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) Detective Sergeant Darren Tamblyn said police believe an accomplice helped the offender flee.

“We’re seeking information from people who may have seen a four-wheel-drive around 3.50pm Sunday,” he said.

Police are now awaiting forensic test results from items found in the Holden Statesman, after it was uncovered in bushland west of Nobby, off Ted Mengel Rd yesterday.

An extensive search of the area did not uncover the firearm or balaclava, a piece of clothing believed to be worn by the offender.

Reports from Nobby residents have produced a link between the gunman and Mr Gomez, saying there may have been bad blood between the two, but these claims have so far been unsubstantiated.

Det Sgt Tamblyn said while there was nothing to suggest these claims, police were looking into it.

“It is an avenue of enquiry that we’ve investigated,” he said.

“Just because of the matter (a link) hasn’t been ruled out, but it definitely hasn’t been substantiated.”

Speaking for the first time since the shooting, the owners of the Nobby General Store yesterday issued a press release thanking one of the staff for their quick-thinking.

Store owner Nicole Hollis-Neath said a 15-year-old male shop assistant rushed to protect her and her daughter, before helping the victim after he was shot.

Mrs Hollis-Neath said the teenage boy yelled “gun” as he dove to stop her from entering the shopfront from the attached residence.

The staff at the Nobby General Store said they are still coming to terms with the event, as are the rest of the community.

Nobby resident Trish Wallen, who lives next door to the General Store, said she hoped it “was just a one-off”.

“We’re not concerned about it happening again,” she said.

“We are probably a bit relaxed about securing our possessions, but people here are so friendly and it’s a caring neighbourhood.”

Mrs Wallen was watching television when the incident occurred outside her front window. She said she didn’t notice anything was wrong until she took her bins out.

“Then I saw all the police in the street and my first thought was, ‘someone’s been hit by a car’,” she said.

Anyone who saw a 4WD near Ted Mengel Rd at 3.50pm Sunday is urged to call Warwick Police on 4660 4444 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.



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