A 28-year-old man, Benjamin Jeremy Bourke, has been sentenced to 10 years and six months of imprisonment for attempting to kill a teenage girl with a compound bow and arrow. The murder attempt took place in an Aldi supermarket in Austrailia. Bourke pleaded guilty to the charges in the Brisbane Supreme Court of Australia on Wednesday.
The court heard that Bourke left his Bundamba home armed with a compound bow, two knives, and three small sledgehammers on September 20, 2020, following an argument with his housemate. His plan was to take a life and provoke the police into shooting him.
Wearing a mask, hoodie, and full-length pants, Bourke was captured on CCTV footage walking from Booval Railway Station along South Station Road. He initially considered attacking a mother and her child but decided against it. Bourke later fired an arrow at an Indigenous woman jogging nearby, but missed her.
Upon arriving at the shopping precinct, Bourke targeted a teenage girl. He approached her, removed his mask, and shot his compound bow, narrowly missing her. The girl entered the Aldi store in an attempt to escape, but Bourke followed her and fired another arrow that grazed her right arm.
As Bourke stalked the girl around the store, he shot at her again, hitting her left hand, phone, and upper torso. The girl managed to find a customer who shielded her from Bourke as he continued to stalk her calmly.
Bourke fired one more arrow, which missed, and then approached the girl while armed with a small sledgehammer, asking for his arrow back. The girl refused, and Bourke put his weapons down before two men tackled him to the ground and police arrived.
The entire incident lasted approximately four to five minutes. The court heard that Bourke had been diagnosed with a mixed personality disorder and used cannabis regularly.
Justice Tom Sullivan sentenced Bourke to 10 years and six months in jail, taking into account the 946 days he had already served in custody.