YEAR OF DEATH
DETAILS OF DEATH
Senior Constable Barnett was murdered soon after 1 p.m. Monday 1 February 1858 at the White Hills Goldfield near Carisbrook. He had been attempting to arrest William Brook who had just shot and killed restaurateur Charles Lopez during an attempted robbery. Brook who had been severely wounded in a struggle with Lopez fired at Barnett whilst attempting to escape. One of his bullets struck the policeman in the heart fatally wounding him. Brook was arrested soon after and died later the same day from stab wounds inflicted by Lopez. The deaths of Lopez and Barnett enraged the local community which was already incensed by the actions of ‘undesirable elements’ who had been attracted to the rush and who preyed upon the diggers. Later that day a crowd of some 1500 miners assembled and the ‘undesirables’ became a target for their vengance. A riot occurred during which numerous buildings were destroyed and people assaulted before peace was re-established.