Parole review coming

Written by on 05/06/2019

The Northern Territory chief minister has announced a review of every person currently subject to electronic monitoring after a man wearing one of the bracelets allegedly killed four people in an hour-long rampage through Darwin on Tuesday.

The NT police chief, Reece Kershaw, said on Wednesday police believed the alleged gunman, a 45-year-old, was searching for someone who was interstate. Police said at least some of the victims may not have known the gunman.

“We’re not 100% sure and we’ve obviously got to interview that individual before he’s charged with murder,” Kershaw said.

“Initial indications [suggest] it may be that he was looking for certain individuals. One in particular we know was interstate and used to reside at a particular address and that’s why we’ve undertaken that line of inquiry.”

Kershaw said it was “correct” that some of the victims did not know the shooter.

Witnesses describe panic and carnage in Darwin during hour-long shooting rampage

“I can’t give you the exact figure because we’re still trying to work out if there was a relationship there or they were known to each other, and that’s something we’re working on with the families and other people who are assisting us with our inquiries,” he said.

The gunman had been released from jail on parole in January and was wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet during the shooting.

Kershaw confirmed that the gunman had used a pump-action 12-gauge shotgun – a prohibited firearm – that may have been stolen as far back as 1997.

Kershaw said on Wednesday the gunman had been released from jail after serving four years of a six-year jail sentence. The shooting had prompted a sweeping review of the parole board and everyone subject to electronic monitoring in the Territory, he said.Advertisement

“We’ve asked for a detailed report immediately from the parole review board into what happened with this alleged offender, and we have asked for everyone who is on parole and electronic monitoring to also be reviewed,” the chief minister, Michael Gunner, said.

“We’re not jumping to conclusions, but we are doing all the work we need to do to make sure Territorians are safe.”

One of the victims was identified on Wednesday as Hassan Baydoun, 33, a taxi driver from Darwin who had been staying at the Blue Palms motel.

His employer, Blue Taxis, said in a statement it had lost one of its “long term beloved drivers”.

“Our company is heartbroken and his colleagues are in a state of shock,” it said.

“This is not what our city stands for. Someone shot having a meal break while going about their own business.

“We pray that we never have to witness anything like this ever again.”

Northern Territory police arrested the man on Tuesday night after an hour-long shooting in which four men were killed and a woman was injured at four sites in Darwin.

The first reports of a man firing shots came at the Palms Motel just outside the Darwin city centre about 5.50pm. A man was killed at the motel before three other deaths occurred at the nearby Buff Club, Gardens Hill Crescent and an industrial site at Jolly Street in the suburb of Woolner.

Kershaw said one person was killed at the Palms Motel between 5.39pm and 5.52pm. The gunman then went to an address at the inner-city suburb of The Gardens between 5.54pm and 5.57pm, and was at the Buff Club by 5.59pm. He then went to an industrial site between 6.05pm and 6.13pm.

One person is believed to have been killed at each site.

Witness Leah Potter told the Today show she had followed a police officer to the scene of the shooting at the motel.

“We followed him, and the scene that we came across, I could not even believe that this could happen in Darwin,” she said. “A man had come through the Palms Motel and shot every window.”

She said the man was looking for someone, and after shooting up the motel he shot one man dead.

Potter said the man was well known. “He’s a local Darwin lad that all of us know. So it’s quite shocking,” she said.

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