RESIDENTS of the tiny village of Croppa Creek are struggling to come to terms with the unthinkable tragedy that has thrust the national spotlight upon them.
A feeling of “total sadness”, as one local described it, has enveloped Croppa Creek since Tamworth father-of-two Glen Turner was shot and killed on Tuesday afternoon.
Adding to the community’s bewilderment is that respected farmer Ian Robert Turnbull, 79, was arrested just hours later and now stands accused of pulling the trigger.
A friend of the Turnbull family, who did not wish to be named, said it was “beyond belief” that such tragedy had befallen the village.
“I can’t describe what I’m feeling for the person who passed away and his family,” he said.
“I’ve known the family for a long time and we’re good friends.
“There is just so much pain on both sides, for everyone involved, for those that knew them or didn’t.”
Lawrie Timmins runs a machinery service and repair business, Croppa Creek Farm Spares, and has lived in the area – about 60km north-east of Moree – for all of his 59 years.
He told The Leader yesterday that everyone in the village was in “disbelief and shock” at what had happened.
“It’s a very crazy thing,” he said. “We’re just amazed that sort of thing could come to a head in the community that way.”
Mr Timmins said all the villagers were aware of a long-running dispute Mr Turnbull was involved in with the Office of Environment and Heritage.
“I know it was fairly nasty (but I’m) not too sure on the gory details,” he said. “It was all in court in Sydney. It could have been handled better.
“We feel for the Turnbull family, all of their workers and the people that were involved in it.”