7 Jun 2019

Darwin gunman: 'I'm very sorry for what's happened'

4:12 pm on 7 June 2019

The man charged over a mass shooting in Darwin has used his first appearance in court to apologise for the rampage which ended with four people dead.

An Australian police officer (file photo)

Photo: 123RF

Benjamin Glenn Hoffmann, 45, appeared in Darwin Local Court via video link from prison wearing a red T-shirt and white shorts, with cuts on his face and forehead.

The prosecutor confirmed Hoffmann was facing four charges of murder as well as two of recklessly endangering serious harm and one of criminal damage.

Judge Elizabeth Morris noted that Hoffmann had been marked at-risk after his arrest and asked if that status should be extended.

Hoffmann interrupted from the screen when his lawyer said he did not have submissions to make on the subject.

"I do need help; I asked for help," he said.

In a brief lull after the at-risk order was extended he said: "I'm very sorry for what's happened.

"I want to see my family as soon as possible."

Hoffmann did not make an application for bail.

Prosecutor Matt Nathan asked for an extended period of time to gather a brief of evidence before the next court appearance, which was set for 18 September.

At the end of the hearing Hoffmann asked when he would be able to see his legal counsel, who is high-profile Darwin defence lawyer Peter Maley.

Mr Maley told his client: "Don't say anything now because there's other people in court that can hear us."

Police have previously confirmed that Hoffmann was released on parole in January this year after serving time in prison.

Four men were killed and a woman wounded after Hoffmann allegedly opened fire with a prohibited pump-action shotgun in the CBD and inner Darwin suburbs on Tuesday night.

Investigators have said they believe the ammunition used was purchased locally on the morning of the shooting by a "third party" known to Hoffmann.