A visibly shaken camper has described how he crawled under a van to escape a drug-crazed man armed with a crossbow before giving CPR to the dying attacker.
Douglas Home closed his eyes for long periods and took several draughts of Rescue Remedy as he told the Coroners Court in Parramatta how the events of April last year had "screwed with (his) mind".
Home was giving evidence at the inquest of Ryan Pringle, 33, who was shot dead by police at a Rainbow Gathering in northern NSW after he threatened campers with a knife and a crossbow.
"I remember it but I'd rather forget it so I don't end up in a psych ward," Home said.
The inquest has heard Pringle, the son of former rugby league player Neil Pringle, had a history of mental illness and had taken illicit drugs.
He hit a female camper before arming himself with a knife and threatening a number of campers with death at the School of Happiness campsite.
He told them he was Jesus Christ and they were demons who had to be "punished", the inquest has heard.
Police were alerted by terrified campers who crossed a river in darkness and drove 27 kilometres to the nearest town.
Pringle dropped the knife and ran into the bush when confronted by Senior Constable Karen Peasley and Sergeant Carter Knyvett.
But as the officers were helping the campers to evacuate the area, Pringle re-emerged from the bush and threatened them with a crossbow.
Home said he crawled under a van to escape Pringle.
"I thought to myself, kill the c***," Home said.
"The police were so heroic. They gave him so many warnings.
"I had a hammer and I was going to smash his head in with one blow."
The court has heard Senior Constable Peasley fired her Taser before Sergeant Knyvett discharged his firearm a number of times, hitting Pringle in the lower back.
Home said he helped give Pringle mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
"He looked me in the eyes and said, 'Get away from me, you're the f***ing devil'," Home said.
Pringle died at the scene.
The inquest continues before Deputy State Coroner High Dillon.