A hospitality worker extradited from NSW to face charges over the shooting of a Canberra house where a family, including two babies, were living has been granted bail.
Jordan Elias Crooke, 22, was extradited from Batemans Bay on Wednesday (23 June) over last year’s shooting in Narrabundah, which a court has heard was due to a dispute over a ute.
Court documents show Crooke’s co-defendant Brodie Owen Antoniak was a long-time friend with a man from Narrabundah and allegedly sold him a 2005 XR8 Ford ute for $2000 to repay an outstanding loan between them.
The man went on to sell the car but then, several weeks later, Mr Antoniak began asking for it back.
On 3 November 2020, he, Mr Crooke and a woman allegedly drove from Batemans Bay to the man’s house before getting into an argument about where it was.
According to police, Mr Antoniak, 31, threatened the man he had known for almost his whole life.
“If I don’t get the ute back, I’m going to come back and shoot you,” he reportedly said before leaving.
At about 2:40 pm that afternoon, Mr Crooke allegedly drove back to the house with Mr Antoniak in a silver Holden Commodore.
Mr Antoniak allegedly called out to the man, who came outside, and he pulled a sawn-off rifle from the car and aimed it at the man, who turned to run back into the house as his friend fired the gun towards him, hitting his front doorway.
The man yelled out to warn his partner and children, two infants under the age of two, and they hid in the bathroom while he called Triple Zero.
“He’s got a gun, he’s at my house, he’s got a gun … Get in the bath, get in the bath,” he said over the phone to the operator.
Police allege Mr Antoniak fired the gun at the house several more times before getting back into the Commodore and Mr Crooke started to drive away.
Hearing the gunfire stop, the man peered out the window to see Mr Crooke allegedly make a U-turn to come back and Mr Antoniak fired two more rounds into the house before finally leaving.
Mr Crooke appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court on Thursday (24 June) after being extradited from NSW and applied to be released on bail.
His lawyer, Ms Wallis from Legal Aid, said he had not been evading police but had been unaware of the charges he faced in the ACT.
She said he lived and worked part-time at a restaurant in Batemans Bay so would be some distance away from the alleged victims in the matter.
Ms Wallis said he has schizophrenia and a broken collarbone and broken ribs, injuries that were sustained in a recent car crash.
Prosecutor Michael Gemmell argued it was a risk to grant Mr Crooke bail as he had no ties to the ACT and had been “actively avoiding police”.
He said the man and his partner were understandably fearful and highlighted how the alleged incident involved a family’s home being fired on while children were present.
“He knows the complainants. He knows where they live,” Mr Gemmell said.
Special Magistrate Jane Campbell said it would have been “a very frightening experience” for the family.
She said while it was not alleged Mr Crooke had fired the gun at the house, police believed he drove the car.
She said even though the alleged crime happened last November there was no suggestion he had tried to contact the complainants since then.
Magistrate Campbell granted bail with conditions including that he report to Batemans Bay police three times a week and not enter the ACT unless for legal appointments or court dates. She adjourned the matter to 15 July.
Mr Crooke has been charged with two counts of aiding and abetting the discharging of a firearm at a building.
Mr Antoniak has been remanded in custody since he was arrested on 3 November. His charges are currently before the courts.