Grandfather ‘played dead’ moments after being shot in the face
A Victorian grandfather who was shot at point-blank range while cycling has told how he played dead in the moments after the attack, out of fear that his attacker would try and finish him off.
Kelvin Tennant was riding his motorised push bike through the popular Myrtleford-Everton Rail Trail, in north-east Victoria, in February last year when he was shot three times, once in the stomach and twice in the face.
A year on, Mr Tennant has joined police to appeal for help to solve the mystery, which officers describe as peculiar and frustrating.
"I remember going down and thinking, this is it, I'm finished. I thought my day had come," he said.
"I took in a deep breath and let out a big sigh and just lay perfectly still, deliberately.
"I thought, in my mind, that if I played dead he would think I'm dead and wouldn't come and finish me off."
In the moments before the shooting, Mr Tennant was approaching a dark sedan backed up to the trail.
He was shot by a man who got out of the driver's seat and walked towards the back of the car.
"I said to him, 'Why are you doing this to me?' — which is rather funny when I think back on it," he said.
"He was doing it to me because you don't fire three shots into somebody's body from point-blank range unless you want to kill them, for whatever reason."
'Frustrating' crime scene hinders police
A year later, police say they are still looking for leads.
"It is one of the most frustrating and one of the most peculiar investigations that I have seen in my time as a detective and certainly in my four and a half years at armed crime," Detective Senior Constable Elise Douglas said.
The location of the shooting has been a particular stumbling block for police.
"It's hard to convey the pure isolation of it until you stand there at the crime scene. It appears to me as though somebody would have been familiar with at least that section of road," she said.
"We don't have the advantage of traditional investigative avenues that we would usually have in a more densely populated area."
Police say there is nothing to indicate Mr Tennant was followed, but rather that the shooting was tied to a particular time.
Detective Senior Constable Douglas urged anyone with information to come forward.
"It doesn't matter how small, it doesn't matter how insignificant you feel it is. Investigators at the armed crime squad are very, very keen to hear from you," she said.
"Somebody knows something. Somebody in the community knows what happened, knows who did it."