Actor and stunt performer Johann Ofner died in 2017 at the age of 28 after being shot on the set of Bliss N Eso’s ‘Friend Like You’ music video.
Filming took place in Brisbane’s Brooklyn Standard Bar and featured a scene in which Ofner was shot in the chest at close range, using what was presumed to be a blank shotgun.
Coroner Donald MacKenzie has released a report (via the ABC) describing Ofner’s death as tragic and avoidable. The weapon – a sawn-off double-barrelled shotgun – and its ammunition were supplied by Warren Ritchie, who has since passed away. Were he around to face trial, however, MacKenzie said Ritchie would be charged with manslaughter, unlawful possession of a hand gun, and a breach of workplace health and safety causing death.
The gun was not a prop gun as expected, but an operable shotgun. It was equipped with, in MacKenzie’s words, “homemade” shotgun shells. The cartridges weren’t fitted with steel projectiles, but the presence of ignition powder, cloth wadding and a plastic casing meant the shells technically contained illegal projectiles.
MacKenzie’s report confirmed that Ofner died from “a gunshot wound to the chest” that caused heart failure.
Neither the members of Bliss N Eso nor the producers of the ‘Friend Like You’ music video have been charged with any wrongdoing. See the video, dedicated to Ofner, below.