Wounded survivor's account

from page 2 of The Examiner, May 1, 1996

[no by-line]

  Survivor Peter Crosswell answered questions from his bed at the Royal Hobart Hospital yesterday.
  Q At what point did you feel that you were safe?
  A When I came in here... I think. I came up by bus. The gravely ill, I think there were three or four that were in the cafeteria, the restaurant, that were airlifted out -- they were seriously ill. Others were ambulanced out, and because I only got a sore butt, I was bused out. We were very, very lucky people. I don't know why he didn't come back and shoot us. I've no idea.
  Q And the memories come back to you?
  A Those memories will be there forever... absolutely horrific. That person I cannot understand... the first time I saw him with that gun and he just walked up to someone and shot him dead from about three feet away. It's something I'll never forget.
  Q So it was methodical shooting you witnessed?
  A The whole time that man was in there he did not say one word. He never ran... he walked everywhere, just shooting people.
  Q What was the reaction of the other people in the restaurant?
  A All I can remember is after he started shooting at that first table is that a lot of people jumped up from their tables and ran towards the front doors. That was the time that I jumped on the ladies and told them to lay very still and I think he just shot everybody that was moving. It's the only rational reason I can think why we were able to live.
  Q How will you feel about Port Arthur now?
  A I don't think I'll ever go back there. I don't think I ever could.
  Q Were there other people in the restaurant who managed to seek shelter?
  A I don't know -- when I came out the back of the restaurant there were a couple of people there climbing up the hill, obviously wounded... so they may well have been in the restaurant or they could have been out the front of the restaurant in that outside dining area. I don't know where they came from -- I didn't see anybody go out the kitchen apart from me. There were just people scattering everywhere and everybody was so confused because it just didn't make sense. Things like that just don't happen.
  Q I heard that other people who were at Port Arthur were attracted to the restaurant by the gunshots.
  A They could have well been. I just recognised the sound of a high-powered rifle and then I saw this guy's head explode and that was it.

[image: "Won't go back: Peter Crosswell" (5x5) ]

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