Man suspected of killing 4 in Darwin wore parole monitoring device, Latest World News - The New Paper

Man suspected of killing 4 in Darwin wore parole monitoring device

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Suspect was on parole when he killed four men in Darwin

SYDNEY : The man accused of killing four men in a shooting spree in northern Australia while evading police for more than an hour was an ex-convict wearing a monitoring bracelet, authorities said yesterday, ordering an urgent review into parole procedures.

The 45-year-old suspect - armed with an illegal pump-action shotgun - was hunting for a specific person during the rampage in the city of Darwin on Tuesday evening, police said.

They said the man, whom local media identified as Ben Hoffman, was on parole and wearing a monitoring bracelet when he carried out the attack, which also left one woman wounded.

He was released from prison in January and reportedly had had repeated brushes with the law.

Police said they were investigating possible links to outlaw motorcycle gangs and drug- related grudges.

Northern Territory chief minister Michael Gunner said 100 police officers had been assigned to the investigation, with eight crime scenes established across Darwin, an outpost of 130,000.

Mr Gunner ordered an immediate review of close to 200 people being monitored via the electronic programme in the territory.

"The Northern Territory government will do everything in its power to determine what led to these tragic events and how this violence occurred," Mr Gunner told reporters.

"While we have no reason to believe an event like this will occur again, it is critical we make every effort that it does not."

The motive for the attack remains unknown, but police said it was not terror-related and that the gunman was "looking for one individual".

They said they had since spoken to that person, who was in another Australian state at the time of the shooting. Police said the shotgun used in the attack was believed to have been stolen over 20 years ago.

Local media reported that Hoffman was well known in Darwin, the smallest capital of Australia's states and territories.

Witnesses recalled harrowing scenes from Tuesday as a man moved from room to room in a local motel, opening fire on occupants.

Dramatic footage of the arrest shown by ABC showed the suspect flailing on the ground as he was tasered by heavily armed police. Police said he remained in hospital yesterday due to injuries suffered during his arrest. - AFP