One of the victims of a terrifying case of mistaken identity “could have easily [been] killed” when his home was invaded by masked attackers, ACT police say.
Aaron, who could not be identified further, was at home with his partner on an “average” Tuesday night in March when three men wearing balaclavas kicked in the door of their Canberra apartment.
While Aaron struggled with two men — one armed with a machete and another with a gun — he said a third man attacked his partner.
“I actually thought we were going to be killed,” he said.
“I didn’t think people would come into a house armed with machetes and firearms to not use them.
“I thought they were going to use them on us.”
He was left with a broken nose, broken jaw, shattered cheekbone, shattered eye socket and missing teeth when he was hit with the butt of the gun.
ACT Policing said they believe the attackers’ motive to be drug-related, but they entered the wrong apartment.
“I can strongly, strongly advise you that Aaron and his partner are no way involved in any drug-related activity,” First Constable Lysa Barnsley said.
Police ask for those who helped attackers to come forward
Aaron said he was knocked unconscious and the next thing he remembered was kneeling on the floor speaking to police on the phone after the attackers warned they would be back as they left.
He was hospitalised and is facing more facial reconstructive surgery in addition to the plates he has already had implanted in his head.
The psychological and physical impact on both Aaron and his partner has been immense and he said he was even in danger of losing his job because of his trauma.
“[I’m] angry and scared … that these people go around and do this to other people,” he said.
“Obviously this was a case of mistaken identity, but anyone who thinks it’s OK to go out and do these kind of things is obviously not a good person and not someone I want in the community.”
Police called on anyone with information about the case, particularly those in the community who assisted the attackers, to come forward.
“We know people assisted them at and around the time of the offence. We need these people to come forward,” First Constable Barnsley said.
“We are aware that some of these people may have given this assistance inadvertently — they may not have known the offence occurred.
“Given what Aaron said today, we are urging these people to come forward and speak with police.”