A PANEL beater who killed a would-be burgular with a single shot to the head made a frantic 000 call begging for help.
“I’m just ******** myself,” a panicked Ivan D’Angelo told the emergency services operator in the moments after shooting Wade Vandenberg.
“He’s just lying there, that’s all I can see,” he said.
“I’ve fired a shot and panicked. I didn’t know what to do”.
Mr Vandenberg and two associates planned to break into D’Angelo’s Thomastown workshop to steal parts for his VL Commodore.
But their plot was foiled after D’Angelo, who had been sleeping at the workshop, spotted them from his bedroom window.
D’Angelo told police he panicked, grabbed his gun and screamed out at the men from a window before firing.
He said he had not been aiming at the men and had only wanted to scare them.
“Soon as I fired the shot the other two guys ran and this guy’s just dropped,” he said.
“I freaked and I panicked,” he said.
He later called his brother and told him “there were three blokes with poles, I shot and I think I hit one”.
One of the burglars, who cannot be identified, told the jury he never head D’Angelo scream.
He said if he had, he would have fled.
“I just heard a big bang,” the man said.
“I turned around and looked at Wade. He had a hole in his head and blood was just pouring out.
“It took a second or two to realise what really happened. There was nothing we could’ve done.”
A Supreme Court jury today found D’Angelo not guilty of murder.
The verdict followed a Prasad direction by Judge Lex Lasry meaning they could return a not guilty verdict before hearing the defence case.
Following the verdict D’Angelo pleaded guilty to a single count of manslaughter.
The case returns to court on October 7 for a pre-sentence hearing.
D’Angelo has been remanded in custody.