Court

NT cop charged with murder granted bail

The Northern Territory policeman charged with the murder a 19-year-old indigenous man has been granted bail.

28-year-old Constable Zachary Rolfe and another went to the home of Kumanjayi Walker in Yuendumu, around 300 kilometres west of Alice Springs, on Saturday night to arrest him over breaches to a suspended sentence.

Rolfe allegedly fired three shots at Walker, which tragically resulted in the 19-year-old’s death.

It’s understood he was then taken to the local police station, because the medical staff at Yuendumu Health Centre had evacuated due to safety concerns earlier that day.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service also delayed their response as well, due to safety concerns.

Walker’s family and the local community were not told about the death until the morning after he was shot.

Medical staff from the neighbouring community of Yuelamu assisted in pronouncing Mr Walker dead.

A few of the staff were then allegedly injured in community unrest, and had to be treated for minor injuries in Alice Springs.

NT Police Acting Deputy Commissioner Michael White has since said that Walker lunged at an officer and stabbed him with a weapon and a struggle broke out before the shooting took place, though Walker’s family say that’s not what happened.

NT police internal investigators have since been looking over the officers’ body-worn cameras.

Last night, the 28-year-old officer was charged with murder. He fronted court this morning where he was granted bail, and suspended with pay.

He’s due to front Alice Springs court again on December 19.

Rallies have been conducted around the country yesterday, in Alice Springs, Darwin, Melbourne and Adelaide, calling for ‘Justice for Walker’.

Baby dies from meningococcal B

A BABY has tragically died in hospital after contracting meningococcal B in the Northern Territory.

The Department of Health today confirmed the infant, who is believed to be under six months old, had passed away in Royal Darwin Hospital after being admitted in a critical condition on June 13.

Everyone who had close contact with the child has been contacted and given clearance antibiotics.

It’s the fifth meningococcal case in the NT this year, with the other four cases all being the W strain.

The Centre for Disease Control said none of the cases were linked.

Following an outbreak of the W strain last year, the NT Government made the meningococcal ACWY vaccine available for free for all people aged one to 19 years.

The B vaccine remains on the private market and must be purchased.

Earthquake

Darwin shook for five minutes by 7.2 magnitude earthquake

Parts of Darwin have been evacuated after an earthquake rocked the city this afternoon.

Initial reports show  a 7.2 magnitude quake struck in the Banda Sea, near Indonesia, shortly before 1.00pm.

Tremors were felt in Darwin’s Central Business District for around five minutes.

Many buildings had to be evacuated, including hotels, businesses and schools.

The Bureau of Meterology in the Northern Territory says there is no threat of a tsunami.

No major injuries or damage to building have been reported yet.

Four dead after shooting rampage in Darwin

UPDATE at 11:30 PM | A GUNMAN who allegedly went on a shooting rampage across Darwin, killing four people and wounding a fifth, was released from prison on parole five months ago, it has been revealed.

Addressing the media at 10pm – four hours after the attack – Northern Territory Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw confirmed the alleged shooter was released on parole in January and is well known to police.

The 45-year-old man was arrested by heavily armed tactical officers about 6.45pm on Tuesday, 60 minutes after allegedly embarking on a deadly rampage across the city, shooting dead four men and wounding a woman.

After evading police for an hour, Police Commissioner Kershaw said the 45-year-old called the NT Police Duty Superintendent and asked to be placed in protective custody.

“We do believe he was trying to hand himself in,” Mr Kershaw said.

The man was arrested and remained under police guard in hospital at the time of writing.

Police say the shooter, who was wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet on his ankle, allegedly began his rampage on Finniss Street before driving around the city, gunning down his victims.

It’s understood the man drove to the Palms Motel where witnesses reported seeing him calmly walking through the building “shooting up the rooms” with a pump action shotgun.

One man was shot dead at the motel and a woman shot in the legs. She has been taken to the Royal Darwin Hospital in a stable condition.

The gunman then allegedly drove to an address on Gardens Hill Crescent where it’s alleged he shot dead a second man before travelling to the Buffalo Club and gunning down a third man in the carpark.

A fourth man was shot and killed at an address in Jolly Street.

While investigators try to figure out a motive for the attack, Mr Kershaw stressed the incident was not believed to be terror-related.

It’s understood the 45-year-old man has a long criminal history and has links to outlaw motorcycle gangs.

Police are still trying to determine if the offender knew his victims.

“This is one individual who has acted individually and unfortunately taken the action they have,” Mr Kershaw said.

“Our hearts and the police family and the wider community are with you tonight and we’re here to support all of our community and those that have lost their loved ones.”

Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner said it had been “an incredibly difficult night” in Darwin.

“This is not the Darwin we know,” he said.

“As Chief Minister, on behalf of Territorians, our thoughts are with the families and friends of the victims and everybody else who has been impacted.

“This is an active police investigation. There are a number of details still to be confirmed.

“I thank our police and first responders. This has been an incredibly difficult night tonight.”

Mr Kershaw said 100 police officers were involved in the investigation.

Earlier, speaking from London, Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the incident as a “terrible act of violence”.

“I just want to extend my deep condolences and sympathies to all the people of the territory,” Mr Morrison said.

“This is a very tight community and I know they will be rocked by these events.”

EARLIER at 9:45 PM | A GUNMAN has been arrested after allegedly going on a shooting rampage across Darwin, killing at least four people and wounding several others.

Emergency services were first called to reports of shots fired at the Palms Motel, in the inner city suburb of Woolner just before 6pm local time on Tuesday.

It’s understood the shooter – described by police as a 45-year-old Caucasian man wearing high-vis workwear – was seen walking through the motel, ‘shooting up rooms’ with a sawn-off pump-action shotgun.

Witnesses have reported hearing up to 20 shots fired at the motel.

“He shot up all the rooms and he went to every room looking for somebody and he shot them all up, then we saw him rush out, jump into his Toyota pick-up, and rush off,” witness John Rose told the ABC.

The gunman allegedly left the scene in a white Toyota Hilux ute and drove to the suburb of Stuart Park where it’s alleged he opened fire again.

He was on the loose for about an hour before he was eventually arrested, tackled by heavily armed tactical police at a city roundabout shortly before 7pm.

In a statement a short time ago, Northern Territory Police confirmed there were “four casualties and multiple injuries”.

“Police do not believe the incident to be terror-related,” the statement said.

“There is no ongoing threat to the community however a police operation remains underway.”

It’s understood at least two people have gunshot wounds.

Multiple crime scenes have been established at The Palm Motel, and at the Buff Club in Stuart Park.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is in London and has been made aware of the shooting.

“This is a terrible act of violence that is already, I have been advised, taken the lives of four people,” Mr Morrison said.

“There are a number of others who have causalities but the details of that are still not confirmed.

“I just want to extend my deep condolences and sympathies to all the people of the territory.

“This is a very tight community and I know they will be rocked by these events.

“Our advice is this is not a terrorist attack. There is nothing to suggest that is the case whatsoever.

“The true motivations of this criminal and violent act will become better known. There is a person in custody and they will work through those processes.

“In the meantime. I think it’s important that every one in Darwin everyone in the Territory understands the thoughts of Australians wherever they are…they will be thinking very much of their fellow Australians in the Territory.”

This is a breaking news story. More information will be added when it becomes available.

Child found dead in playground near primary school

A SMALL child has tragically died in a playground next to a primary school in Darwin.

The child’s body was reportedly found in a playground near Wanguri Primary School.

ABC Darwin reporter Elias Clure broke the story on Thursday afternoon.

The local reporter said the child is believed to have died on Wednesday night.

It is understood the child was a student at the school. Their age is not known.

Northern Territory Police Senior Sergeant Matt Allen told 7 News the child’s death was not being treated as suspicious, but rather as a case of “misadventure”.

The circumstances surrounding the incident and cause of death are not yet clear.

Northern Territory Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the child’s death and will prepare a report for the information of the Coroner.

Detectives have spent the day examining the scene.

No further information was available at the time of writing.