Hero's dive saved lives

from page 1 of The Examiner, May 1, 1996

by Claire Braund

  Wounded Port Arthur hero Peter Crosswell threw himself across two elderly friends after he heard high-powered rifle shots and saw a man sot in the head at the start of Sunday's massacre.
  Mr Crosswell, 45, a former RAAF officer from Seven Mile beach, near Sorell, and now area manager for Camp Quality, was shot in the buttocks as he lay helpless across his two frinds.
  Yesterday Mr Crosswell gave an interview to the media from the Royal Hobart Hospital in a bid to stem some of the unwanted publicity for families affected by the shooting.
  This the text of that interview:
  "I was with two elderly ladies sitting in the restaurant just starting to eat our luncheon meail when we heard three large and loud bangs which I recognised as gunshots and... apparently the two ladies I was with at the time thought it was a re-enactment of some sort.
  "I leapt up from the table and walked towards the front door of the restaurant, and as I did this guy walked in and shot dead the guy that was sitting at the nearest table, then preceeded to shoot everybody at that table.
  "At that time I jumped on top of the two women that I was with and landed on the floor -- I told them just to lay dead still.
  I could see the feet of the guy who had walked into the room with tht gun and he just preceeded to shoot everyboy in the room.
  "He walked through the room past us into the serving area, where I heard more gunshots, and then he came back and shot at myself and the two ladies and thankfully missed.
  "At that time he must have seen somebody that was still alive and walked towards that person -- and he yelled out 'no, no'... he then shot him.
  "Another person who was also moving nearby was screaming. He just walked up and shot her.
  "He then walked back past us and I thought he was going to kill us, but instead he walked to the door, hesitated for about 15 seconds... perhaps... and reloaded his gun and went outside.
  "I jumped up and went out the back door to see what he was doing. We could hear the gunfire coming from the front of the store.
  "He, after a time, jumped into a car and drove off, at which time I screamed back into the place and got the two ladies I was with.
  "I could only see two other people alive -- everybody else had horrific head wounds and was obviously dead -- so I took the two ladies I was with and hid them in the bush and came back in to see what I could do... but there wasn't much I could do at all."

More of the Crosswell interview -- Page 2

[image: "Shot: Peter Croswell recovering in the Royal Hobart Hospital yesterday. He gave an interview to take pressure off grieving relatives and friends of the victims." Picture: Will Swan (15x16) ]

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