Accused Darwin gunman's massacre apology

Alleged Darwin shooter Ben Hoffman has told a court he needs help and he's "very sorry for what's happened".

The 45-year-old faced Darwin Local Court for the first time this morning - where his parole was revoked.

As an "At Risk" order was made by Deputy Chief Judge Elizabeth Morris, Hoffman told the court "I do need help, I've asked for help" and "I'm very sorry about what's happened."

Hoffmann appeared via video link from prison and also said he wanted to speak to his lawyer Peter Maley as soon as possible before being remanded to appear in court again in September.

The appearance comes as chilling CCTV images have caught the moment he allegedly killed his last victim.

The grainy images allegedly show Hoffman shirtless and covered in blood as he walked from the home of casino worker Rob Courtney, 52, who police say he murdered.

The shocking alleged murder came after police say Hoffman killed three other men with a pump-action 12-gauge shotgun on Tuesday while he was high on ice.

After taxi driver Hassan Baydoun, 33, Nigel Hellings, 75, and Michael Sisois, 57, were shot dead, CCTV footage allegedly shows the 45-year-old Hoffman arriving at Mr Courtney's home in Woolner and walking inside, armed with a shotgun.

CCTV images show Hoffmann before the attack holding a shotgun. Picture: Supplied
CCTV images show Hoffmann before the attack holding a shotgun. Picture: Supplied

Mr Courtney tried to defend himself and stabbed the gunman before he was allegedly shot dead in front of his housemate.

CCTV images then allegedly show Hoffman walking out, shirtless.

Mr Courtney was facing a charge of attempted sexual intercourse without consent and was due in court yesterday.

Yesterday, NT Police charged Hoffman with four counts of murder, two of recklessly endangering serious harm and one of criminal damage, with more charges expected over Tuesday night's deadly shootings.

Moments after he is covered in blood and holding a shotgun and knife. Picture: Supplied
Moments after he is covered in blood and holding a shotgun and knife. Picture: Supplied

He is believed to have known two of the four men he is accused of shooting and killing in the bloody rampage.

Hoffman has had surgery for knife wounds since being tasered and arrested by police on Tuesday night. The surgery delayed detectives interviewing and charging him until Thursday.

The four killings occurred in about 30 minutes, with the gunman appearing to target specific locations.

Police believe he was affected by the drug ice, which he has a history of using.

Police have not ruled out an accomplice being involved because the ammunition used with the shotgun was purchased by a "well-known associate" of Hoffmann's, Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw said.

CCTV also shows victim Rob Courtney before the attack. Picture: Supplied
CCTV also shows victim Rob Courtney before the attack. Picture: Supplied

When asked about the gunman's motives, he said there were potentially disputes relating to drug debts and a woman.

"There is a bit of both there. There is drugs, I think, I am speculating here, but we are following those two lines," Mr Kershaw said.

Police also revealed they had they pulled Hoffmann over for speeding just hours before the shooting.

Mr Kershaw said police had pulled the suspect over about 10.52am the day of the shooting at Arnhem Highway, Humpty Doo, for doing 94km/h in an 80km/h zone.

"He was not displaying any adverse behaviour," he said. "There nothing out of the ordinary (when he) was observed by police officers."

Mr Kershaw said he was "very satisfied with our approach" in letting the alleged gunman go.

He said it was a "possibility" the accused was seen with a firearm at the time, but that was still under investigation.

Accused Darwin gunman Ben Hoffman being led out of hospital into a police van. Picture: Channel 7
Accused Darwin gunman Ben Hoffman being led out of hospital into a police van. Picture: Channel 7

"You have got to treat everyone fairly, and police officers have reasonable suspicions," he said. "They didn't have any at that point in time."

The alleged gunman was given an infringement notice for speeding.

The violence started at 5.39pm that day at the Palms Motel where Hoffmann allegedly shot and killed taxi driver Hassan Baydoun, 33, who was on a meal break.

Mr Baydoun's cousin Abdallah Salman said his relative did not know the shooter and was accidentally caught up in the shootings as the alleged gunman went from room to room firing his gun and shouting for a person named Alex.

A 23-year-old woman at the Palms who police do not believe knew Hoffmann was shot in the legs and remains in hospital.

The shooter went on to kill Nigel Hellings, 75, in Gardens Hill Crescent less than a kilometre away at what might have been the former home of an associate.

Michael Sisois, 57, has been named as one of the victims in Tuesday’s mass shooting. Picture: Keri Megelus
Michael Sisois, 57, has been named as one of the victims in Tuesday’s mass shooting. Picture: Keri Megelus

He then killed Michael Sisois, 57, who knew Hoffmann after previously working together, a few hundred metres away in the carpark of the Buff Club.

He then drove two kilometres to Woolner where he tried to enter police headquarters, kicking the door before phoning Duty Superintendent Lee Morgan who negotiated with him and alerted police to his location.

The person named Alex, who Hoffmann was looking for in the days leading up to the killings, was interstate and was charged a fortnight ago in Darwin with various traffic and drug offences.

Vincent Sisois, the brother of Mr Sisois, angrily asked why Hoffmann had been released from prison on parole recently given he was known to be dangerous and violent.

Darwin taxi driver Hassan Baydoun was killed in the horrific attack. Picture: Facebook
Darwin taxi driver Hassan Baydoun was killed in the horrific attack. Picture: Facebook

"Why was he let out, they knew something would happen and they let him out. Why?" Mr Sisois said.

The NT Government has asked for a report from the Parole Board on Hoffmann and to review all people on parole, however Attorney-General Natasha Fyles defended the system on Thursday.

Hoffmann is from a respected local family involved in business.


Swim coach makes a big splash

premium_icon Swim coach makes a big splash

A coach and an athlete from the same country sports club have been selected to...

Why lasers will light up Lismore’s night sky

premium_icon Why lasers will light up Lismore’s night sky

The skies above Lismore will be a riot of colour tomorrow night when a laser show...

UK expat joins SCU

premium_icon UK expat joins SCU

NEW head of Health and Human Sciences says helping Lismore community is...