A YOUNG father who was shot in the head at Parawa on the Fleurieu Peninsula has died from his injuries, as a man charged over the incident faced court.
Bailey Davenport, 21, suffered a wound to the head when shot at Second Valley Reserve at Parawa, off Springs Rd about 40km west of Victor Harbor, while with four friends about 3.45pm on Sunday. SA Police Major Crime acting officer-in-charge Detective Inspector Greg Hutchins said the four friends — three men and a woman — had given various accounts of what occurred but police were keeping an “open mind”.
“We do not believe the people who were with this young man at the time of the incident have been fully frank with us about the circumstances,” he said. “We are not totally comfortable they are telling us the full truth at the present time.
“Five young friends go out for the day, wood-chopping, having a bit of fun, unfortunately they decided to take a gun with them. One of them is now deceased. “Until we unravel what has occurred yesterday afternoon ... the charge of murder is certainly on the table.
Det-Insp Hutchins said a search was underway to recover the gun, which was yet to be found. “With the assistance of the State Emergency Service, we are searching for that firearm, which is believed to be a .22 rifle, and will be fully investigating its origins,” he said.
“The full circumstances of what occurred are still being investigated by police, and I would urge those who were there to tell the truth. Those details will have a direct bearing on what charges are laid. “This death is a tragedy not just for this young man and his family, but for all those present. “As is normal with all unexplained deaths, police will be thorough in our investigation of this matter. “Clearly the family would be demanding answers, friends would be demanding answers.”
Hayden Dale Fenton, 28, of Victor Harbor, appeared in the Christies Beach Magistrates Court on Monday afternoon charged with an aggravated count of endangering life and wounding with intent.
His lawyer, Stacey Carter, asked Magistrate Brian Nitschke if a report could be ordered to determine whether he was a suitable candidate for home detention bail. “They (the police) were opposed to bail because their investigations were ongoing,” she said. “He has given the location of the firearm to the police so now their position on bail has changed.” The court heard that the Director of Public Prosecutions would be reassessing the charge after a “drastic” change in circumstances.
But the court was not told exactly what that change was.
Mr Nitschke ordered the home detention bail report and remanded Fenton in custody until next week. After the shooting Mr Davenport, of Hayborough, was driven by the group to the South Coast District Hospital — a 30-minute journey — where they met with paramedics in front of the emergency room. He was then flown to Flinders Medical Centre where he succumbed to his injuries on Monday.
The Second Valley Reserve is known for deer hunting, which is illegal, but police denied the group was there to hunt. Local resident Sonya Jensen said she saw a silver hatchback and two four-wheel-drives speeding down nearby Mount Hayfield Rd about 3pm on Sunday. She alerted her husband, who later told her he saw the silver hatchback’s rear end had been caved in before he reported the incident to police.
Mrs Jensen said more people were coming to the area to shoot feral deer during weekends, usually at nightfall, but she did not hear gunshots on Sunday. Another neighbour on Springs Rd also said he did not hear gunshots on Sunday. Victor Harbor detectives are investigating the incident, with the assistance of Major Crime and Serious Crime investigators and forensic experts.
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