No fewer than four people have been killed and several others injured after a man believed to be an associate of an outlaw motorcycle gang newly released from prison allegedly went on a shooting spree in Darwin’s city centre on Tuesday, police and government officials said.
The alleged attacker, a 45-year-old man, has been arrested and taken into custody, Northern Territory Chief Minister, Michael Gunner, said.
Northern Territory Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw said the gunman went on a shooting spree in five different locations.
The suspect was “well known to the police” and had been released on parole in January after serving at least a year, he told reporters.
Kershaw said he (suspect) acted alone.
“We are still trying to establish intent and motivation,” he added.
The suspect is being held at Royal Darwin Hospital for a check-up.
According to Kershaw, the incident started with reports of a man firing shots at Finnis Avenue near the Darwin Central Business District, after which he apparently went to four other locations.
He also allegedly tried to enter a local police station.
Kershaw said that the suspect moved around using a vehicle, and he was at large for about an hour before being apprehended by the police.
He said that Police had mounted roadblocks around the city, which has a population of about 136,000, to arrest the gunman.
His arrest, in which officers used a taser, was caught on camera by journalists.
Witnesses told local media that the suspect, a white male, was seen with a sawn-off pump-action shotgun, but police did not confirm the make of the gun.
At the Palms Motel, he shot at multiple doors. It is believed that he killed three people there and one other person at the Gardens Hill Crescent.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who was in London for a visit, said the incident was a “terrible act of violence.”
“This is a very tight community and I know they will be rocked by these events,” he told reporters.
Two people taken to the Royal Darwin Hospital with gunshot wounds are in a stable condition, a health department spokeswoman said.
“Five crime scenes, four people deceased… This is not the Darwin we know,” Northern Territory Chief Minister, Michael Gunner, said.
“We can confirm this is not a terrorism event,” Gunner told reporters at a press conference in Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory.
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