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Nazi shooter’s gun ‘obsession’ revealed

google maps kellerberrin to perth trip
Police allege Lachlan Bowles, 25, left, opened fire on Kelleberrin father Terry Czernowski, plunging the West Australian town in chaos. Picture: Supplied

Locals have revealed disturbing details about a camouflage-clad gunman who went on a shooting rampage, including his obsession with guns and membership of a local pistol club.

Lachlan Bowles, 25, shot workmate Terry Czernowski, a father in his 40s, at a grain silo business in Kelleberrin, about 205km east of Perth, at around 8.40am on Thursday.

It plunged the WA town into lockdown and sparked a lengthy police search.

Bowles was reportedly seen wearing a Swastika and waving around a Nazi flag until he turned the gun on himself when cornered by police that evening.

shire of kellerberrin facebook image lachlan bowles
Bowles being awarded the Australia Day 2020 Community Service Award by the Shire of Kellerberrin. Picture: Shire of Kellerberrin

Kelleberrin residents have since revealed Bowles loved firearms and owned several guns, some of which he could shoot up to 3km, the West Australian reports.

It has also emerged he was a member of the local pistol club and had won shooting awards.

He was carrying a high-powered rifle and a pistol during the rampage.

The owner of the Kellerberrin Pie Shop and Bakery, Tony Downs, described Bowles as a “quiet guy” and said he visited the bakery for lunch on Wednesday, a day before the shooting.

“He’s always been a quiet sort of a guy but you don’t expect him to turn around and pick up a gun and shoot someone,” Mr Downs told The West Australian.

wa police image lachlan bowles
WA Police issued an alert for 25-year-old Lachlan Bowles after the incident on Thursday morning. Picture: Supplied / WA Police

“Obviously something has happened at work and it’s triggered him off and he’s gone up there and shot him, along with two other people.”

Records from the Shire of Kellerberrin reveal Bowles won a 2020 Australia Day Award for his community service with St John Ambulance.

A photo from the April 2021 award ceremony revealed Bowles smiling proudly and holding his award alongside his fellow recipients.

In the comments, several people appeared to rally around Bowles, congratulating him on his award.

“Congratulations to all the worthy recipients and special mention to our SJA (St John Ambulance) volunteer Lachlan Bowles, great effort,” said one woman.

Bowles waved Nazi flag, wore a Swastika

On Thursday, the West Australian reported Bowles was waving a Nazi flag and wearing a Swastika.

Bowles then fled, shooting at a car but miraculously avoiding the driver who was unharmed.

Police cornered Bowles in a field during an hours-long standoff before the gunman shot himself. He was declared dead at the scene.

Kelleberrin father Terry Czernowski. Picture: West Australian
Terry Czernowski, pictured, was shot dead. Picture: West Australian

Police Commander of Regional WA Rod Wilde told the media on Thursday evening Mr Bowles was located about 20km north of the town.

“He was situated in a field there, and [Tactical Response Group officers] had been talking to him for several hours,” Mr Wilde said.

At least one police car was shot at during the incident, before Mr Bowles is understood to have turned the gun on himself, ending the stand-off.

“Obviously it’s a tragic outcome for everyone involved,” Mr Wilde said.

google maps kellerberrin to perth trip
Police descended on the small WA Wheatbelt town of Kellerberrin on Thursday morning after a person was shot. Picture: Google Maps

It’s understood Mr Czernowski had a young daughter.

“The guy that died was only in my shop on Friday. We were talking about his plans for Father’s Day,” Kellerberrin Pie Shop and Bakery owner Tony told the West Australian newspaper.

Another local said Mr Czernowski was the “life of the party” and well-known around town.

Bowles had lived in the town for several years.

“We do believe both men were known to each other, and worked together in Kelleberrin … they weren't related,” Commander Wilde said.

He also confirmed Mr Bowles was licensed to own a number of different guns.

Shortly after the shooting, police responded to the incident in force, and issued an alert seeking the whereabouts of Mr Bowles in the Kellerberrin area.

“Members of the public are advised to not approach Mr Bowles or the vehicle but contact police immediately on triple-0,” a WA Police spokesperson said in a statement.

Kellerberrin residents were urged to remain inside during the incident.