Lockhart shootings: Mood 'tense' night before bodies of family killed in suspected murder-suicide found.

“It was like you could cut the air with a knife…”

The mood inside a home the night a southern NSW family was killed in a suspected murder-suicide was so tense it was like you could “cut the air with a knife”, a coronial inquest has been told.

Kim Hunt, 41, and her children Fletcher, 10, Mia, 8, and Phoebe, 6, were found dead on their farm in Lockhart in September 2014.

The body of 44-year-old Geoff Hunt — Kim’s husband, and the children’s father — was found a day later in a nearby dam. A gun was found beside his body.

lockhart murder suicide
Kim Hunt, left, with her husband Geoff and their children, Phoebe, Mia and Fletcher. (Image: The Daily Advertiser via ABC)

Coroner Michael Barnes is hearing evidence about the deaths at Wagga Wagga Coroner’s Court.

Lorraine Burke was employed to help the Hunt family with domestic chores after Kim Hunt sustained permanent brain injuries in a 2012 car accident, which the court heard led to a significant change in her personality.


In September last year, on the night Geoff Hunt is believed to have shot his wife, three children and then himself, the mood in the house was tense, Ms Burke told Mr Barnes.

“It was like you could cut the air with a knife,” said the disability worker, the last person to see the family alive.

She told the court Kim Hunt was upset with Geoff Hunt over the meal he had cooked for the children and then for watching television with them.

Ms Burke told the court she thought Geoff Hunt’s quiet mood that night and his inability to make eye contact were indicators he may have had mental health issues.

The disability worker told the court that as she left the house that night, Geoff Hunt said: “Goodbye [Lorraine]. Thanks, I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Ms Burke discovered the body of Kim Hunt outside the house the next day. Police later discovered the children’s bodies inside the house.

All were killed with single gunshot wounds, the court heard.

Ms Burke told the coroner Kim Hunt often got upset and angry over small issues, describing her as being on a roundabout she could not get off.

“Some days it was good and some days it was bad and she [Kim Hunt] would get cranky at the kids and cranky at Geoff,” Ms Burke said.

Yesterday, the inquest heard a handwritten note found in the home read: “I’m sorry, it’s all my fault, totally mine.”

The note did not identify the author, although a handwriting expert told the court she was “very confident” Geoff Hunt wrote it.

The inquest continues.

This post originally appeared on ABC News.


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