The family who lived at the house in Narrabundah that was shot at by a raging gunman has had to move as the home is a “constant reminder” of the terror they endured at the hands of Brodie Owen Antoniak.
The 32-year-old has been jailed for two years and two months for the shooting that Acting Justice Verity McWilliam said was “brazen and extremely dangerous”.
On Thursday (9 September), Justice McWilliam told the ACT Supreme Court Antoniak lived with his friend of 30 years at his friend’s Narrabundah home for several days in October 2020 before he was kicked out, leaving behind his Ford ute that he had owned for a couple of months.
On 3 November 2020, Antoniak, a woman, and a person police allege to be Jordan Elias Crooke, travelled from Batemans Bay to Canberra to collect the ute.
But when they arrived about midday, an argument began over the car.
The trio left and drove the woman home, then Antoniak returned to the Narrabundah house at about 2:40 pm in a car allegedly driven by Mr Crooke.
Antoniak yelled at his friend to come out of the house. He kicked the building’s aluminium gate, denting it, then jumped onto the roof of a Ford Focus and kicked its windscreen.
When his friend and their partner came out of the house, he pulled a 50 cm-long sawn-off rifle out of his car and pointed it towards his friend.
Justice McWilliam said the couple fled inside “in immediate fear of their lives”. Antoniak fired, hitting the house.
The friend yelled at his family to get in the bathroom. He, his partner and their two children, who were both under two, hid there 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,” the father said over the phone.
Antoniak fired several more shots towards the house before starting to drive away. But he did a U-turn and returned to two fire more shots, causing the family to flee back into the bathroom, before finally leaving.
He was arrested on 4 November 2020 and eventually pleaded guilty to charges of discharging loaded arms, damaging property and unauthorised use of a prohibited firearm.
Justice McWilliam noted the Crown’s case was “overwhelmingly strong”.
She said a victim impact statement written by the friend showed the shooting had a traumatic impact.
He and his partner relive the shooting almost every day and fear how close their children came to being seriously injured. They have nightmares and he becomes anxious when he hears loud bangs.
They have moved from their home in Narrabundah as the house was a “constant reminder” of what happened, Justice McWilliam said.
She said a pre-sentence report showed Antoniak, who was self-employed as a tiler, had a “clear alcohol and drug problem”.
The report said he was “furious” at the time of the shooting and “felt betrayed” over the ute.
He wrote a letter to the court in which he said he accepted full responsibility for his actions and knew what he did was reckless and stupid.
While his legal team had suggested his rehabilitation could be assisted by him being sentenced to an intensive corrections order, a community-based sentence, Justice McWilliam said that would not reflect the “gravity” of the gun charges.
As his sentence was backdated, his non-parole period of 18 months means he is eligible to be released from jail in May 2022.
Antoniak’s alleged driver during the attack, 22-year-old Mr Crooke from Batemans Bay, remains before the courts.