Todd was watching telly when Bellambi gunman fired

A Bellambi couple has moved out of their home on advice from police, after a man fired gunshots into the property, on Friday night. 

Police pursued the shooter through neighbouring parkland, but were forced to abandon the chase when he fired another shot. 

Todd Gardiner and his partner Tammy Ryan spent the night sleeping on a mattress in a neighbour’s shed after police warned them off returning to their Armour Street home. 

Mr Gardiner was watching television in his first-floor bedroom when two shots were fired into his windows about 11.30pm.

One of them shattered the window beside him and peppered the surrounding glass with pellets.

“I was flicking through the channels to see if there were any scores on the footy when I heard the pops,” Mr Gardiner told the Mercury on Saturday morning. 

“I instantly sprung up and took off out of the room. My heart was that fast I thought it was going to stop.” 

“It’s not like I’ve heard gun shots all my life or anything, but my instinct told me it was a gun shot. 

“Because it was a shotgun, there are all separate holes in the window, from the pellets. I was lucky. If he had have got this [neighbouring window pane] it would have hit me in the head for sure.” 

Mr Gardiner said he was relieved to learn that police had recovered the gun. 

“Even though I saw the holes and everything, I thought maybe they’d rigged something up with little pellets or something. But it was a gun.

“My partner is really frightened as well. 

“I don’t think I’ve pissed anyone off that much, to want to put bullets in me.” 

Mr Gardiner has lived at the property for 15 years. He said he was born in the neighbourhood and had raised his own children there, but worried for its future.  

He is unsure if the shots were intended for him, or were random.

“Around here there’s a lot of little crackheads and little grubs,” he said. 

“I don’t take the s—t that they seem to do around here. They go to some people’s homes and take over, because of the drug scene. 

“I haven’t had any big dramas with any of them, but if i came across any of them, I told them how I felt.

“It’s probably a little grub that’s done it – he’s just got his hands on something. If [police] didn’t find the gun, someone probably would have blown their head off with it.”  

“I hope they get the c--ksucker who did it.” 

The gun was found abandoned outside a property on Bott Drive, close to where the gunman is believed to have fired a third shot as he was pursued by police. 

Two general duties officers were patrolling the area when they saw the shooter running southward beside the coastal cycle track.

The Mercury understands the officers took cover against a fence or a resident’s garage after the shot sounded. 

Police returned to the site with SES volunteers on Sunday morning to carry out a line search in daylight. 

The shots woke some residents, including a woman who moved into the neighbourhood with her children two weeks ago. 

“This is not something I want my kids around,” she said. 

“I don’t know what to think, really.”

Another resident described the shooting as “terrifying”. 

“I have a daughter, so it’s a little bit close to home, especially when it was a real gun. We get a lot of crap around here, but that’s the most intense.” 

A third resident told the Mercury he saw a man crossing nearby Waley Avenue, minutes before the shots sounded and police arrived.

“I heard a big bang and this guy runs across here with a shopping bag,” he said. 

“You could hear it was plastic … he’s robbed a house or something. It was so dark. He was like a shadow. He ran so fast. He had a shopping bag and something was in it.” 

This story Todd was watching telly when Bellambi gunman fired first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.