2019 Darwin shooting
|2019 Darwin shooting|
|Location||Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia|
|Date||4 June 2019|
|Mass shooting, spree shooting|
|Weapons||Pump action shotgun|
|Benjamin Glenn Hoffman|
On 4 June 2019, a mass shooting occurred in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. The Northern Territory Police confirmed that four people were killed in the incident and another one was injured. A 45-year-old, Benjamin Glenn Hoffman, was arrested and subsequently charged with murder and attempted murder.
“Shots had rung out near Finnis Street just outside the CBD before the man moved to other locations – including the Buffalo Club, Gardens Hill Crescent, the Palms Motel, a Coles Express and Jolly Street in Woolner.“
Witnesses say the gunman entered the Palms Motel on McMinn Street, Darwin and used a pump-action shotgun to shoot through a guestroom door. According to sources, around 20 shots were fired by the suspect. Witnesses also noted that while in the motel the gunman went from “room-to-room” while screaming out “Alex”.
Police responded to the incident and the city centre near the motel remained in lock-down for an hour after the attack. The media reports that about 100 police were involved including officers from the Territory Response Group. Northern Territory Police Commissioner, Reece Kershaw described the weapon as "a prohibited 12-gauge pump-action shotgun", and said it may have been stolen as far back as 1997. Police say that the suspect used 7 vehicles to visit other places located in the city.
After the motel shooting, the suspect fled in a Toyota utility and remained at large for about an hour before being detained after notifying police of his location at the intersection of McMinn and Daly Streets. At the time of his arrest, the man, a suspected member of a motorcycle gang who had been released from prison in January, was wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet. The suspect was also taken to Royal Darwin Hospital after being injured with a knife and tasered.
The suspect has been identified by the media as Benjamin Glenn Hoffman, age 45. Kershaw said that Hoffman had been released from prison on parole in January 2019. He had been serving a 6-year prison sentence, eligible for parole after 4 years. After this he committed a minor violation of his parole conditions, breaking curfew by less than an hour, and as a result he was imprisoned again for two weeks, being released in early May. During his parole he had been drug tested, with all results negative. Police also revealed that they stopped the suspect for speeding hours before the shooting.
As of 5 June 2019, charges had been laid. The suspect's motivation remains unclear, but Kershaw said the suspect may have been looking for certain individuals. One of the individuals may have been called "Alex". Police believe "Alex" was outside the Northern Territory at the time of the attack.
The victims of the crime were all male: one man was reportedly killed at the motel, one at Buff Club, one at Gardens Hill Crescent, and one at Jolly Street.
The Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, commented that the shooting was not terrorism-related. Michael Gunner, Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, stated that his thoughts were with the families and friends of the victims, stating “This is not the Darwin we know”.
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