Son Accused Of Killing Mother And Brother In Property Dispute
A man with a deep love for guns and sports shooting has allegedly driven between New South Wales and Victoria to kill his mother and brother -- all in a bid to end a nasty family dispute.
Paul Cohrs, the former Wentworth Deputy Mayor, has been locked in a legal battle with his family over a property in far south-west New South Wales for a decade.
Until Tuesday afternoon.
Sources told Ten News he’d arranged an appointment with his brother, Ray, and their Landmark real estate agent where he’d intended on discussing the future of the Rufus River Road property.
Instead, police say he tied up the property manager, Michael Fernandez, holding him against his will and shot dead his older brother.
On a rampage, he then drove 100 kilometres to Red Cliffs, near Mildura, where he’s alleged to have shot his mother, Bette Cohrs.
The 82-year-old’s body was found just after lunch, the start of a cross-border investigation.
Police found the accused’s body at the property in question just after 3pm, they say he tried to shoot himself too, but survived. He remains in a critical condition in hospital.
“I can say we are not seeking anyone else in relation to these offences. However we are certainly looking for assistance from the public,” Superintendent Paul Smith told reporters.
Officers from both sides of Murray River are searching for any information regarding the movements of a white Toyota LandCruiser with the Victorian Registration 1IP4ET.
Paul Cohrs is well known in both communities as an outspoken local councillor and president of the Mildura branch of the Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia.
His members were shocked by the allegations, telling Ten News they knew him as a hardworking family man.
“It’s just hard to imagine why this would happen… we know him as a family man; he’s a father and a grandfather and we can only imagine the grief they must be experiencing right now,” Justin Law said
Wentworth Shire Council also sent their “heartfelt condolences” to the family and those impacted by this event.
Meanwhile, communities surrounding Wentworth and Mildura have been left shell-shocked.
Jill Gowers, went to school with Paul and while they weren’t close she never imagined he could be capable of the murders he’s accused of.
“You just never know what’s gonna happen,” she told reporters as news spread across Red Cliffs.
“I really feel for the family and our thoughts go out to them… the whole community would be right behind those that are still with us.”