The day I shot dead a robber

Shaken ... Karen Brown is comforted by her mum Bev.


August 1, 2004

THE security guard who shot and killed a robber has spoken for the first time about the workplace ordeal that could see her convicted of murder.


Shaking and crying uncontrollably, a traumatised Karen Brown yesterday told how she feared for her life as her head was shattered by a man armed with a knuckle duster, who relentlessly punched her to the ground.

"I was so scared," she told The Sunday Telegraph of the ambush and subsequent shooting of William Aquilina outside the Moorebank Hotel last Monday morning.

Ms Brown suffered a fractured skull, a fractured eye socket, a fractured nose, a fractured left hand and possible brain damage when the 25-year-old grabbed her hair, king-hit her, and repeatedly pounded her to the ground.

The convicted criminal then dragged her across the bitumen toward a stolen getaway car before she could release the bag she carried containing $30,000-$50,000 in hotel takings.

Surrounded by family, she tried to recall the incident that left her dazed and bloodied in the hotel car park.

"I looked up through a bloody haze," Ms Brown said. "I did not know where I was or exactly what had happened to me. All I knew was that blood was pouring into my eyes and my head was throbbing."

Despite suffering severe concussion and a floating bone fragment at the rear of her eye ball, the 42-year-old Rooty Hill woman conveyed her sympathy to Aquilina's family and expressed remorse at what had occurred.

"I really feel sorry for his family," she said. "It must be awful. I just wish this had never happened. It's been a terrible week. I have been a security guard for four years."

Ms Brown has been collecting and banking the pub's takings for the past five months. "Nothing like this has ever happened before, and nothing prepares you for this," Ms Brown said.

Katrina Brown said the incident had ruined her sister's life.

"It has completely wrecked her life," Katrina said from the Rooty Hill home shared by Karen Brown and Karen's de facto, George Muratore. "She's a complete mental and physical wreck. This is the worst thing that's ever happened in her life.

"She has never hurt anybody or anything before, and it's completely crushed her."

The father of Karen Brown's de facto, Vic Muratore, 73, said she did not deserve to be punished for carrying out her duty as a security guard.

"She should not be charged I would have done the same thing," he said. "If you pay me to protect, you have to protect. Everybody reckons she's a champion.

"We have known her for seven years and she is a very decent person she is a good person. I say sorry for the other people, but you deserve what you get when you do something like that."

A police spokesman said yesterday detectives were not expecting to speak to Ms Brown until tomorrow.

The only television interview with Ms Brown goes to air on Channel Seven's Today Tonight show tomorrow.


The Sunday Telegraph