Detectives are investigating whether self defence was a factor in the stabbing death of two men – one from Tea Gardens – in a small North Queensland town.
But police have not ruled out laying charges, despite releasing a 19-year-old man from custody on Tuesday after he had helped investigators with their inquiries overnight.
Tea Gardens man Thomas Davy, 27, and Queensland man Corey Christensen, 37, died on the street at Alva Beach, a small town about an hour from Townsville, after they were stabbed in the early hours of Monday morning.
The incident has rocked the coastal village, which is home to less than 250 people.
Police believe the 19-year-old was home alone when an injured 29-year-old woman knocked on his door seeking help “after an earlier incident”.
A group of men arrived at the Topton Street home soon after and a fight broke out, during which Mr Davy and Mr Christensen were fatally wounded with a knife.
Police understand the 19-year-old did not know Mr Davy, Mr Christensen or the 29-year-old woman, who remained in Townsville Hospital with a shoulder injury on Wednesday morning.
Detective Inspector Chris Lawson said police had spoken to the woman but had not obtained a “full and detailed” version of events.
“It’s obviously going to be a hard situation for all involved,” he said.
“I mean, we’re talking about tragic circumstances where people have lost their lives prematurely.”
Investigators are looking into whether alcohol influenced the incident but have no evidence to suggest drugs were a factor.
Post mortem examinations are yet to be completed on the pair and the 19-year-old remains the sole person of interest in the case.
Inspector Lawson said the 19-year-old’s release “does not preclude him from being charged in the future”.
He said the possibility of self defence was “one of the options” detectives were investigating.
“We believe we have a good idea as to who was involved in the stabbing, we believe we have spoken with them,” he said.
“At this stage we’re continuing investigations to establish whether there is any criminal responsibility in this regard.
“If we’re going to proceed in a criminal court we have to provide enough evidence and a sufficiency of evidence to the level the court requires.
“So for us to do that we need to tick off a lot of boxes and until we get to that point, we wouldn’t be laying charges.”
Mr Davy’s family travelled from Tea Gardens to North Queensland on Monday after they received news his death.
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