A drug and alcohol-fuelled shooter lost control due to a dispute over a ute before firing on a family’s home in Narrabundah, a court has been told.
Brodie Owen Antoniak, 32, is facing a jail sentence after shooting at the house where his long-time friend lived with their partner and two infants on 3 November 2020.
On Thursday (2 September), Antoniak’s lawyer, Michael Kukulies-Smith of Kamy Saeedi Law, told the ACT Supreme Court his client had experienced a “loss of control” that was brought about due to “a drug and alcohol-fuelled rage”.
He said his client had left his car at his friend’s house before the dispute arose when he couldn’t access the vehicle, and a suggestion was made that his future victims believed the car was theirs.
While Mr Kukulies-Smith conceded jail was appropriate, he argued for his client to be sentenced to an intensive corrections order which would allow him to be released into the community to assist with his rehabilitation.
Acting Justice Verity McWilliam said he was angry, on drugs and the consequences were “so violent”.
“And that’s with a friend, someone who is a friend of 30 years,” she said.
“Anyway, those we love the most are often those who cause the most anxiety and frustration.”
Agreed court documents for Antoniak show on 3 November 2020, he, 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 Holden Commodore 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 before kicking its windscreen, leaving a large foot-sized hole in the glass.
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.
He fired as the couple fled inside, hitting the doorway.
Antoniak’s friend yelled out to warn his family. His partner grabbed their two children, both under the age of two, and hid in the bathroom while he called Triple Zero.
Antoniak fired several more shots towards the house before starting to drive away. But he did a U-turn and returned to fire more shots before finally leaving.
Prosecutor Margaret Smith said the crimes were serious, having occurred in a residential area in the middle of the day, and neighbours were close enough to hear what was going on.
She also said there was evidence of planning, as Antoniak had the dispute with his friend, left, dropped the woman off at her house, collected his gun, and returned later.
“If it was a simple loss of control, that loss of control would have occurred at that earlier time,” she said.
Ms Smith said Antoniak was “intimately aware” of the location as he had lived there for a period of time, so he would have known his victims’ children were at the home when he saw the adults at the front door.
She also said a firearm report had found five projectiles hit the house.
Antoniak has already spent about 10 months in jail on remand. He pleaded guilty to charges of discharging loaded arms, damaging property and unauthorised use of a prohibited firearm.
Justice McWilliam said she would reserve her decision and hand down her sentence on 9 September.
Antoniak’s alleged driver during the attack, 22-year-old Mr Crooke from Batemans Bay, was released on bail in June after police extradited him from NSW to the ACT to face his charges. He remains before the courts.