FRIENDS of an Ipswich man who was killed in a bizarre double murder in Iraq have described the victim as a “great guy”.
Darren Hoare, 37, had been working as a security guard in Baghdad for nine weeks when he was gunned down in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Another guard, Briton Paul McGuigan, was also killed.
Iraqi police are holding a second British national in connection with the killings. There was speculation yesterday that the men had been drinking together before the shooting began.
Mr Hoare leaves a partner, Mollyjoe Collis, and children James, Trent and Jennifer behind.
His home in Willowbank was yesterday surrounded by more than 10 cars, as friends and family came to pay their respects.
His brother Rodney said his family had tried not to worry about his dangerous job.
“HE was a great person. He was a brother, he was a great father, he was everything that any person would want,” he said. “Obviously, we're terribly distraught - it's such a tragedy and everyone's hurting deeply.”
Mr Hoare was an airfield guard at RAAF Amberley until 2005 and was well-known among defence personnel.
Neighbour Corporal Lindelle Thompson said shivers shot through her body upon learning the news.
“I knew him, but I talked to his partner more as he was overseas a lot,” she said.
“It's shocking. He lived just a couple of houses up the road and was a good guy.
“His partner is really nice. She told me just a few weeks ago he had gone over to Iraq for nine weeks.”
Mr Hoare completed a tour of duty in Iraq before joining the UK-based security firm ArmorGroup.
Mr Hoare played several seasons with local Aussie Rules club Ipswich Eagles, alongside Brisbane Lions star Rhan Hooper.
His former coach Michael Rush said he was stunned when he learned of the news yesterday morning.
“He was a lovely guy, easy-going and very well liked by the team,” Mr Rush said.
“In 2004 he kicked a club record 11 goals in a match.
“The club will be wearing black arm bands in his memory this weekend.”
Recent posts on Mr Hoare's Facebook page revealed his love for his children and his partner, Mollyjoe Collis.
His son James sent a birthday message to his father, who turned 37 in July, and said he wished he was with his dad.
Mr Hoare then responded: “Uwish u could be in Iraq???? .....i wish i was at home”.
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