‘Scary experience’: NT Police investigate after family allegedly terrorised on remote highway

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Northern Territory Police are investigating after a family from the Aboriginal community of Borroloola said they were terrorised by three men who allegedly fired a shotgun on a remote stretch of highway.

Shay Wright said she and her family — including two children aged three and five — were returning from a fishing trip near Borroloola on Thursday night, when they stopped at a roadside inn called the Heartbreak Hotel.

She said after her brother went in and ordered food and drinks, the family continued their journey, but soon noticed a four-wheel-drive tailing them at high speed with its high-beam lights glaring.

“We pulled over to the side of the road to give them some space to overtake,” Ms Wright said.

“They did overtake us, but they pulled up in front.

“They started to rush out of their vehicle — I’m not sure why.

“We drove off so that we didn’t need to have an altercation with them.”

Ms Wright said her brother had seen the three men ordering alcohol at the inn beforehand.

“We hadn’t spoken to them at all, we hadn’t said a word to them. We don’t even know who they are.”

Shortly after the initial encounter, the family said they became even more concerned for their safety.

“We heard maybe a gunshot,” Ms Wright said.

She said her car skidded to a halt as the vehicle raced past them.

Close up photo of Borroloola resident Shay Wright.
Shay Wright is from the remote Aboriginal community of Borroloola in the Gulf country.(Supplied: Shay Wright)

‘We were all crying’

Ms Wright said she and her relatives then drove to the nearby McArthur River Mine to call police for help.

“We were quite shaken up because we had kids in the car, and they were crying, we were all crying,” she said.

“We wanted to be strong for our children but we thought we were going to get hurt or shot or killed.

“It was a very scary experience.”

Ms Wright described the clothes the men were wearing and the model of their ute.

She said she could not understand why they had been targeted.

“I was crying, begging for my life to come and help us. Everyone was, even my brother and he’s a big fella.”

The family said they were interviewed by police on Friday afternoon.

In a statement NT Police said they were investigating the alleged incident and the alleged presence of a weapon.

“Police received a report around 8:30pm stating an incident occurred between two parties travelling in two vehicles on the Carpentaria Highway near Borroloola, and attended immediately,” the statement said.

“Detectives from Katherine have travelled to Borroloola today to assist with the investigations.”

Police said no-one had been injured.


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