Australian man who killed 4 in Darwin mass shooting identified as Benjamin Hoffman

Australian man who killed 4 in Darwin mass shooting identified as Benjamin Hoffman

A man alleged to have killed four people and injured another in the Australian city of Darwin used an illegal pump-action shotgun, police say.

45-year-old Benjamin Hoffman, known to police, was arrested about an hour after the first shots were fired on Tuesday.

Police said he carried out attacks at several locations and may have been searching for a “specific individual”.

It was not terror-related, they added.

Authorities didn’t identify the victims nor the suspect but we have identified the gunman as Darwin man Benjamin Hoffman.

One of the victims was named as Hassan Baydoun, a 33-year-old taxi driver from Lebanon.

A relative told the Sydney Morning Herald: “It’s a big loss… he was one of the best people i knew in my life.”

Chief Minister Michael Gunner said Benjamin Hoffman had been released from a recent 14-day custodial sentence at some point in the last month. He was on parole, and was wearing an electronic bracelet at the time of the attack, according to police.

But police said they were unable to use the device to track him during the hour it took to find and arrest Benjamin Hoffman because it was not “a tactical device”.

He had previously breached parole for breaking curfew, for which he was given a 14-day custodial sentence, the commissioner said.

The shooter’s brother Clinton Hoffmann gave a statement to the press:

Clinton Hoffmann, a well-known local businessman in the Darwin area, offered his condolences to the victims and families of last night’s shooting allegedly carried out by his brother Ben Hoffmann.

“There is public speculation that the offender was my brother Ben Hoffmann,” Mr Hoffmann said in a statement.

“It is important at this time to allow the proper and thorough investigation of these matters by the Northern Territory police and I do not wish to do or say anything that might interfere with or compromise that investigation.

“Having said that, I wish to express my, and my family’s deepest condolences to all of those affected by those events including the families and friends of those who tragically lost their lives, the injured woman and those who came into harm’s way.

“We are as shocked and distressed about these events as the community around us.

“In the fullness of time, it may be appropriate to say more. At present, I thank my friends and colleagues for their understanding and their expression of support, especially to me, my mother and other members of my family.

“In the interests of allowing legal matters to properly run their course, I will not be making a further public statement on these matters at this time.”

Police are still establishing the number of victims known to the alleged gunman as they liaise with families.

“We know he was looking for one individual,” Commissioner Kewshaw said today.

The Commissioner said they were looking at whether the killings were motivated by jail grudges, and drug related vendettas.

Hoffman, a roofer, was admitted to hospital on Monday, the day before he allegedly committed the mass shooting. Police was not able to confirm why he was admitted.

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