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Monday, June 24, 2024

Police launch fresh appeal to find elderly cyclist shooter

Seven years after an elderly cyclist was critically injured and left for dead in the state’s north east, detectives from the Armed Crime Squad are again appealing for public assistance to solve the case.

Kelvin Tennant was riding along the Myrtleford-Everton Rail Trail when he was shot a number of times about 12pm on Saturday 18 February, 2017.

Police believe the shooter left the area in a dark-coloured sedan.

The then 72-year-old was found lying unconscious on the bike trail with gunshot wounds to his head and chest by two passing cyclists who then called for an ambulance.

Kelvin was subsequently airlifted to The Alfred hospital in a life-threatening condition and took months to recover from his injuries.

“Seven years ago, Kelvin was simply out enjoying riding his motorised bike along a beautiful rail trail when someone tried to kill him,” said Victoria Police Detective Sergeant, Brad Potts.

“Despite our extensive enquiries over the years, we’ve never been able to uncover any possible motive for this.

“Someone out there knows who is responsible for trying to kill an innocent man, and it is time to do the right thing and come forward with that information.

“This took place in a small, fairly close knit area and we’re hopeful that over the years someone may have found out something about this incident and be ready to share it with police.

“It doesn’t matter how small or insignificant you might think this information is, it could be just the missing piece investigators need.

“Kelvin loved the area and loved to ride his bike, and I know every investigator who has worked on this matter over the years would love to be able to provide justice to Kelvin and his family.”

Seven years on, Kelvin is still experiencing issues with his eyesight and hearing due to the shooting.

A significant investigation by the Armed Crime Squad has taken place in the years since the incident occurred, with police continuing to travel to the area in the hopes of one day finding answers for Kelvin and his family.

Detectives from the Armed Crime Squad are again in the area this week, making a number of enquiries and conducting Firearm Prohibition Order compliance searches.

Despite this, detectives have still not been able to determine why Kelvin was targeted by the offender.

In May 2019, police also announced a $500,000 reward for information in the hope it would encourage someone to come forward with information. This remains on offer.

While the shooting occurred in a relatively remote area, it is a popular location for visitors to the Great Alpine Road area, including the townships of Myrtleford and Bright.

The Myrtleford-Everton Rail Trail also attracts hundreds of cyclists during the warmer weather.

Investigators still believe it is possible that an interstate visitor on holidays in north-eastern Victoria that weekend might have seen something, but doesn’t realise that what they know could be important.

Police remain keen to speak to anyone who was in the vicinity or passed through the Everton area on the weekend of 18 February in 2017.

A reward of up to $500,000 will be paid at the discretion of the Chief Commissioner of Police for information leading to the apprehension and subsequent conviction of the person or persons responsible for the shooting.

In appropriate cases, the Director of Public Prosecutions may consider, according to established guidelines, the granting of indemnification from prosecution to any person who provides information as to the identity of the principal offender or offenders in this matter.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report at www.crimestoppers.com.au.

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