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.