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Australian Wheatbelt Community Reeling from Shocking Fatal Shootings

Residents of a small Western Australian town have been left in shock by a fatal shooting and police manhunt that ended with the alleged gunman turning the weapon on himself.

Lachlan Bowles, 25, allegedly shot a man aged in his 40s at a silo manufacturing plant in Kellerberrin on Thursday, sparking a manhunt in the wheatbelt town.

Police issued an active shooter alert soon after, warning members of the public to remain indoors during a major operation to catch the suspect.

Bowles was believed to be armed, dressed in camouflage clothing and on the move north of the town, about 200km (124.2 miles) east of Perth.

Police found him at a rural property 20km from the town about 2 p.m. after he allegedly shot at a local farmer who had stopped to give him a lift.

Officers attempted to negotiate a peaceful resolution with Bowles, but he then allegedly inflicted fatal injuries on himself with his weapon.

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Police on Thursday night said the 25-year-old had died at the scene.

Both Bowles and the alleged victim were locals in the community of about 950 people, Shire of Kellerberrin chief executive Raymond Griffiths said.

“Kellerberrin is a tight-knit community … We are all in shock,” he said in a statement.

“Our focus in the coming days will be providing any support the families that have been impacted might need.”

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