Family cry at site of motorway shooting

The former school of a man shot dead on the Logan Motorway is offering a chaplain counselling service to the shocked community, divided over the incident.

Ex-John Paul College student Raghe Abdi, 22, died after a police confrontation on the side of the motorway at Drewvale on Thursday during peak-hour traffic.

The incident sent shockwaves through the Daisy Hill community, where the college offers one of Queensland's most prestigious boarding schools.

College principal Karen Spiller sent condolences to his family and made chaplains available to the shocked community.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Raghe Abdi's family and friends at this time."

The counselling was offered after startling video footage was made public showing the grieving family and others confronting police officers just hours after Mr Adbi's death.

The prestigious John Paul College, south of Brisbane; top, former student Raghe Abdi, 22, who was shot dead; below, college principal Karen Spiller.
The prestigious John Paul College, south of Brisbane; top, former student Raghe Abdi, 22, who was shot dead; below, college principal Karen Spiller.

Former students who went to school with Mr Abdi spoke about a forthright and ambitious student who was keen to make a difference.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, they said he was well known in the school community and had shown leadership qualities but was also a loner.

Mr Abdi made a name for himself within the college when and another student Faruk Bilgin set up the school's Unity Council in 2014.

The move, which brought together students from 13 different country backgrounds, was mentioned in parliament in 2014 by Treasurer Jim Chalmers, who was then a backbencher holding the seat of Rankin.

He named Raghe Abdi in his speech as one of two "fine men" "concerned about the impact of events overseas".

 

 

The scene on the Logan Motorway; Jim Chalmers, top; and Raghe Abdi below.
The scene on the Logan Motorway; Jim Chalmers, top; and Raghe Abdi below.

He also praised the students, teachers and parents who formed the Unity Council in parliament and urged the community to back the group, which travelled to Canberra before hosting a roundtable meeting with members from both sides of the House.

"The unity council sprang from the initiative taken by two fine young men - Faruk Bilgin and Raghe Abdi - who were concerned about the impact of events overseas on the way we treat each other here at home," he told parliament on October 26, 2014.

"It is a tribute to them and to the student body at JPC that they were soon joined by Gareth Clark, Rohan Daniel, Stephanie Hoang, Chloe Mo, Himanthi Mendis, Harris Nikwan, Jack Smith, Luke Van Wijk, Shannon Widrose, and Nereadine Wolmby.

"And it is a tribute to the school's leadership that they were immediately supported by their dedicated principal, Peter Foster, who is here; as is Julia Martinez Garcia, a teacher; Jessica Fern, a kindy parent, who also formed a unity club with other mums and dads; Helen Weissenberger the chair of the board; Allan Dennis, the head of the senior school; and other parents.

"They are all in on the secret, that achieving unity and understanding between people of different faiths, cultures and backgrounds is critical to unlocking the full value of Australia's multiculturalism."

Originally published as Family sob at site of motorway shooting


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