Lance Mollenhauer in hospital yesterday.
Lance Mollenhauer in hospital yesterday.

'Gunman shot my backside'

AN IPSWICH man who was shot in the buttocks after crash-tackling a robber has warned others against taking on armed bandits.

Lance Mollenhauer, 47, was walking out the door of the pharmacy just as a man armed with a handgun and disguised with a balaclava walked in, about 4.30pm Wednesday.

The Gailes resident, accompanied by another unidentified man, then attempted to hold the door of the Old Logan Rd pharmacy shut so that the robber couldn't leave. However, they released their grip after a warning shot was fired from inside the store.

In very good spirits, but with a very sore backside, Mr Mollenhauer yesterday recounted the events that led to him being rushed to the Princess Alexandra Hospital for surgery to remove a bullet from his body.

He couldn't properly explain what drove him to chase and then crash-tackle an armed man.

"We had a bit of a kerfuffle outside the hardware store and the next thing I know I've got a sore backside," he said.

"I had him by the hoodie and I was bashing his head against the road, so it is no wonder he shot me."

The robber then fled in what police believe was a small silver sedan, possibly a Toyota Corolla.

A similar-coloured vehicle was later found abandoned on the Logan Motorway. However, police were unable to confirm if it was linked to the robbery because it was a different make.

Ipswich detectives were yesterday continuing the hunt for the man.

Meanwhile, Mr Mollenhauer was left to reflect on how lucky he was to still be alive.

The bullet, which was shot into the good Samaritan's body from point-blank range, entered through the hip, travelling up through the pelvis and into the buttock.

After being removed by surgeons, the bullet was taken away by police for ballistics testing.

"It's only now that I feel stupid," Mr Mollenhauer said.

"It was absolutely silly. I think I was very lucky."

Despite the humility, Mr Mollenhauer's actions were praised by Gailes locals.

Mr Mollenhauer thanked the man from the hardware store near where he was shot, for applying first-aid to his wound.

Nearby resident Michelle Berka said such incidents were rare in Gailes, a suburb she has called home for most of her life.

"It is a low-income area but we have generally been removed from serious crime," she said.

"I think what struck us all was the fact that although there are many armed robberies these days, it's still quite rare that a weapon is actually loaded and even more so fired at someone. It was a surreal experience."

Anyone with information that could assist police should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.