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Man charged with shooting girl,11, in the face after fight

A 25-year-old man allegedly opened fire on a car driven by a woman who had brawled with his partner at Woolworths, hitting an 11-year-old girl in the face.

Nathan Richard Campbell, from Deloraine in northern Tasmania, did not enter a plea when he faced court charged with causing grievous bodily harm and recklessly discharging a firearm. 

Pheonix Newitt was hit by bullet fragments when Mr Campbell allegedly shot at a car occupied by her mother Sarah Hewitt, uncle Zach Hewitt and four-year-old cousin.

Phoenix Newitt (pictured), 11, was shot in the face as she sat in a car in Deloraine, Tasmania

Ms Newitt then called her brother Zach and they drove to the woman's house on Stagg Court, with Phoenix and the brother's four-year-old boy in the back seats

Ms Newitt then called her brother Zach and they drove to the woman’s house on Stagg Court, with Phoenix and the brother’s four-year-old boy in the back seats

Pheonix is now in Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital in a stable condition after pieces of the projectile struck the right side of her face,The Mercury reported.

The bullet entered the right-hand side window and rebounded off the car’s passenger door, lodging fragments in Phoenix’s neck and head which travelled to her heart. 

She was first taken to a local hospital and then transferred to Launceston General Hospital before being flown to Melbourne.

Mr Campbell will reappear in Launceston Magistrates Court at 3pm on Friday after Magistrate Simon Brown ordered him remanded in custody. 

The shooting stemmed from a fight between the girl's mother Sarah Newitt (pictured with Phoenix) and another woman about an hour before the shooting

The shooting stemmed from a fight between the girl’s mother Sarah Newitt (pictured with Phoenix) and another woman about an hour before the shooting

Pheonix’s uncle Zach Newitt said the family was shaken up by the violent shooting in front of him, her mother, and her four-year-old cousin.

‘She is just one of those kids that everyone loves. She’s just one of the most caring people… always smiling… always helping,’ he told the ABC.

The shooting stemmed from a fight between Ms Newitt and another woman about an hour before the shooting, Inspector John King said. 

Phoenix (pictured, left) on her first day of Year 5 earlier this year in Deloraine, northern Tasmania

Phoenix (pictured, left) on her first day of Year 5 earlier this year in Deloraine, northern Tasmania

The bullet rebounded off the car's passenger door, lodging fragments in Phoenix's (pictured with her brothers) neck and head which travelled to her heart

The bullet rebounded off the car’s passenger door, lodging fragments in Phoenix’s (pictured with her brothers) neck and head which travelled to her heart

Inspector King (pictured) alleged Mr Campbell was actually carrying a small-calibre rifle which he then fired at the car from about 50 metres away, hitting the girl

Inspector King (pictured) alleged Mr Campbell was actually carrying a small-calibre rifle which he then fired at the car from about 50 metres away, hitting the girl

An argument between the pair at the Deloraine Woolworths turned into a fight that left Ms Newitt with a cut to her face and the other woman with a bite mark. 

Ms Newitt then called Zach and they drove to the woman’s house on Stagg Court, with Phoenix and Mr Newitt’s four-year-old boy in the back seats.

Police believe Mr Campbell and Ms Newitt know each other, but are not related. 

They had a loud argument with the woman and her partner outside the house and a neighbour told Daily Mail Australia they heard a heated argument followed by ‘what sounded like a firecracker’.

A woman claiming to be distantly related to the girl’s family called a local radio station saying the man approached carrying what they though was a baseball bat.

The alleged shooting took place in Stagg Court (pictured) after a brawl between two women at a Woolworths

The alleged shooting took place in Stagg Court (pictured) after a brawl between two women at a Woolworths

An argument at the Deloraine Woolworths (pictured) turned into a fight that left the mother with a cut to her face and the other woman with a bite mark

An argument at the Deloraine Woolworths (pictured) turned into a fight that left the mother with a cut to her face and the other woman with a bite mark

Inspector King alleged Mr Campbell was actually carrying a small-calibre rifle which he then fired at the car from about 50 metres away, hitting the girl.

Mr Campbell was arrested at his house on Stagg Court, where he lives with his partner, later that night.

‘Head wounds can be catastrophic and it certainly didn’t look good to start with but it’s very, very pleasing to hear that her condition is improving,’ Inspector King said.

‘Our investigation is ongoing, we have a number of witnesses to speak to and we have police working in Launceston, Deloraine and in Melbourne,’ he said.

‘The family is very traumatised. We have been in close contact with the girl’s mother and local detectives have travelled to Victoria to speak with her.’ 

Phoenix was rushed to a local hospital in Deloraine in northern Tasmania by a family member about 9pm on Tuesday after the shooting in Stagg Court (pictured)

Phoenix was rushed to a local hospital in Deloraine in northern Tasmania by a family member about 9pm on Tuesday after the shooting in Stagg Court (pictured)

 

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