The Palms Motel, where one man was shot dead and a woman was injured. Picture: Keri Megelus
The Palms Motel, where one man was shot dead and a woman was injured. Picture: Keri Megelus

Woman, cars ‘crucial’ in Darwin shooting

New details and a more specific timeline has emerged from last night's horrific shooting rampage in Darwin last night.

In a statement released tonight, Northern Territory Police confirmed the ages of the four men allegedly killed by Darwin man Ben Hoffmann as he wandered around the city armed with a pump-action, 12-guage shotgun less than six months after he was freed from jail.

Mr Hoffmann was wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet when he headed to Humpty Doo, 40kms from Darwin, just after 4pm yesterday.

Police said they "believe he was looking for an individual down that way".

 

Ben Hoffmann was arrested last night.
Ben Hoffmann was arrested last night.

Less than two hours later, at 5.39pm, Mr Hoffman drove to the Palms Motel in Darwin's CBD and allegedly shot dead taxi driver Hassan Baydoun.

The 33-year-old driver, originally from Lebanon, had been on a meal break, when he was allegedly shot in a random act.

A 22-year-old woman, who is now in hospital in a stable condition, was also shot at the Palms Motel.

Police said Mr Hoffmann allegedly threatened two people at the motel as he frantically searched for a man named Alex before opening fire.

"(Accused) is seen and heard going from room to room shouting 'Alex' and firing his gun," NT Police said.

Witnesses at the motel described a man, believed to be the 22-year-old woman's boyfriend, carrying his girlfriend out with her legs dripping with blood.

When the boyfriend saw police at a Coles Express petrol station across the road, he left the woman there to go and get help.

"A man came running with a woman in his arms from next door which is the Palms Motel, which is the motel next to my motel, and he just dropped her on the footpath right in front of us," witness Leah Potter told the ABC.

"I ran and got some towels and wrapped up her legs, she had little holes all in her skin on both her legs and she was bleeding everywhere."

 

The Palms Motel in Darwin. Picture: Keri Megelus
The Palms Motel in Darwin. Picture: Keri Megelus

 

Less than 15 minutes after the Palms Motel horror, Mr Hoffmann arrived at Garden Hills Cres at 5.54pm.

Mr Hoffmann allegedly shot and killed a 75-year-old man there before fleeing in his white Toyota Hilux.

Five minutes later, police said Mr Hoffmann headed to The Buff Club, a nearby pub in the suburb of Stuart Park.

A 57-year-old man was then shot and killed in the car park, police allege.

Between 6.05pm and 6.13pm, police allege Mr Hoffmann shot and killed a casino security guard.

The 52-year-old guard was killed in front of his friend and housemate Johnny Reid at a home on Jolly St in Woolner.

At 6.22pm, Mr Hoffmann was caught on CCTV at the Peter McAulay Centre, Darwin's police headquarters.

Cameras at the building showed Mr Hoffmann trying to kick down the door and get in.

 

The Peter McAulay Centre. Picture: Glenn Campbell
The Peter McAulay Centre. Picture: Glenn Campbell

 

By 6.25pm, Mr Hoffmann was on the phone to Duty Superintendent Lee Morgan.

Mr Morgan, hailed as a hero and expert negotiator today, stayed on the phone with Mr Hoffmann and continued a conversation with him while simultaneously alerting police to his location.

At 6.44pm, just over an hour after the first of four men was allegedly killed by Mr Hoffmann, police hunted the 45-year-old to a Darwin bridge.

Specialist police from the tactical response group Taser Mr Hoffman and wrestle him to the ground, kicking away his shotgun and arresting him at the corner of McMinn and Daly Streets next to a car he was driving.

"The alleged offender is currently at the Royal Darwin Hospital under police guard. He is expected to be interviewed and charged later this evening or tomorrow," police said.

"At this stage police are yet to determine if the victims were known to the offender."

NT Police are also appealing for anyone who might've seen Mr Hoffman driving around in any of three cars he used yesterday.

"Police have seized three vehicles that they believe the alleged offender drove over the course of the day, and ask anyone who may have sighted them to come forward," NT Police said.

The vehicles are - a white Toyota Hilux with the NT registration CC26QE, a red Holden Commodore with the NT registration CC01IR and a silver Proton with the NT registration CD49OU.


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