Alleged Darwin mass shooter Benjamin Hoffmann is transported from Royal Darwin Hospital. (Supplied: NTPFES)
Chris Bertram never bothered locking her doors before last Tuesday.
- Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw alleged the suspected Darwin shooter had been in Humpty Doo earlier that day
- Police say he was booked for speeding just before 11:00am near the rural town, and was in the area at 4:15pm
- Some Humpty Doo residents say they are more cautious following the incident
But given the suspected perpetrator of the horrific shooting rampage in Darwin city was allegedly spotted that day at least twice in her rural community of Humpty Doo, the resident decided the extra security couldn’t hurt
Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw said the suspected killer, Benjamin Glenn Hoffmann, 45, was booked for speeding in the vicinity of Humpty Doo at about 11:00am and was seen on Jefferies Road at 4:15pm, mere hours before the attack.
Police were called and arrived in Humpty Doo to investigate a “suspicious person” at about 5:20pm.
“We know that this individual was in Humpty Doo, in the area of Humpty Doo at 4:15pm yesterday,” Commissioner Kershaw told the public on Wednesday.
“We’ve reviewed the body-worn video … there was nothing that gave rise to anything suspicious when they pulled him over [for speeding],” he said the next day.
“My information is that he spent quite a long time out there, going from address to address and the call went in [to police] around about 5:00pm … we were dispatched and arrived there around about 5:20pm.
“Possibly there was a sighting of a firearm, but we are just working through that because there are multiple addresses out there.”
The Big Boxing Crocodile at Humpty Doo, where the alleged Darwin shooter was caught speeding. (Wikimedia Commons: Stuart Edwards)
Whether the sleepy town has a larger role to play in this tale remains to be seen, although with the alleged shooter charged with four counts of murder and before the courts, it’s unlikely police will be providing new information before his next court appearance in mid-September.
While it’s believed a third party may have supplied the alleged shooter with ammunition and a knife, police have not yet said whether this person has been charged.
Police have also not said how many homes and properties across the greater Darwin area have been searched in connection with the killings.
Crime scenes at Stuart Park’s Buff Club, where 57-year-old Michael Sisois was killed in the carpark, and at the city’s Palms Motel, where 33-year-old Hassan Baydoun was shot, were dismantled by the weekend.
Police also appeared to have finished with crime scenes at Jolly Street in Woolner, where 52-year-old New Zealand security guard Robert Courtney died, and Gardens Hill Crescent, where 75-year-old Nigel Helling was killed, by Sunday afternoon.
‘We all stick together out here’
In the meantime, residents like Ms Bertram are continuing about their lives, albeit with a little more caution than a week ago.
“People are shocked that it’s happened,” she said.
Chris Bertram has started locking her doors after last week’s shooting. (ABC News: Mike Donnelly )
“It makes you think … and be more wary, I think.
“I don’t [usually lock doors]. I do now, just to be on the safe side.”
Fellow resident Josie Davis said she had noticed a distinct emptiness around the town in the past week.
“The last couple of days I’ve been to the shops and there doesn’t seem to be many people around. It’s very quiet,” she said.
She believed the revelations about the alleged shooters movements were continuing to play at people’s minds.
“My heart just goes out to family members and friends [of the victims],” she said.
While others said the tragedy continued to be the town’s major talking point, they said it hadn’t impacted their day-to-day lives.
“Everyone’s just carrying on as normal really, nothing’s changed,” Adrian King said.
“Everybody’s talking about it I suppose but life goes on. I lived in Tassie when the Port Arthur things happened … it’s just things that happen that’s not much you can do about it. Maybe more police but that would be the only change,” Steve McGlone said.
Ian Dickson said there’s been a lot of anguish in the community since the shooting. (ABC News: Mike Donnelly)
“It’s been sad and there’s been a lot of anguish out there. It shouldn’t happen up here. It should happen somewhere else,” Ian Dickson said.
“No [there’s] definitely no change in Humpty Doo. It’s all been taken care of in town so, the police are doing what needs to be done,” Chloe Thompson said.
But Jo White saw things differently, pointing out that it was in moments of crisis the advantages of living in such a small, tight-knit community became especially clear.
“It will definitely change things. But we all stick together out here,” she said.