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Darwin massacre witness shares his harrowing story with Neil Mitchell

3aw mornings

First you hear gunshots.

Then you’re confronted by a man carrying a woman covered in blood.

You spend the next 40 minutes trying to help her, all while having no idea where the gunman is.

You witness a dramatic arrest.

Then you realise you know the alleged gunman and find out one of your former flatmates has been shot dead.

That’s the situation that confronted Matt James in Darwin on Tuesday night.

Mr James shared his harrowing story with Neil Mitchell on 3AW.

He said the alleged killer, Ben Hoffmann, was “very unstable” and had “been in and out of jail.”

“He’s only been out of jail since January,” Mr James said.

“When somebody told me it was him I said ‘it couldn’t be’ because I thought he must still be in jail.

“But turns out he was released in January and snapped.”

Mr James said he regularly saw Hoffmann at nightclubs some 10 years ago.

“He was off the rails then,” he said.

“I remember one time at an after-party he took a gas bottle and put it at the front door of this party and said he’d shoot the gas bottle if anybody left.

“He didn’t have a gun at the party – he was just off the rails.

“He’s never been a stable bloke.

“How he got parole … the police know how dangerous he is.

“He was never somebody to do things in halves.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

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