3rd LD Writethru: 4 killed in mass shooting in north Australia

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CANBERRA, June 4 (Xinhua) -- Four people were killed in a shooting incident in Australia's Northern Territory (NT), local police said on Tuesday evening.

At a press conference broadcast live on social media, police commissioner Reece Kershaw confirmed the number of victims following shooting in NT capital Darwin. There were more people injured.

He said that police were notified of multiple shots in the city area around 5:45 p.m. local time (0815 GMT), while local media said witnesses heard up to 20 shots from a motel, carrying photos which showed broken glass at the front of the Palm Motel.

"We didn't believe this is terrorism related," said Kershaw. "This is one individual who acted individually."

A report by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) quoted witnesses as saying that a man walked into the motel holding a pump-action shotgun and fired at several doors, seemingly looking for someone called "Alex."

"He shot up all the rooms and he went to every room looking for somebody and he shot them all up, then we saw him rush out, jump into his Toyota pick-up, and rush off," witness John Rose told the ABC.

Police locked down parts of the city, and a 45-year-old man was later arrested, after allegedly opening fire again at other different locations. They confirmed in a statement that the suspect was described as "Caucasian and was wearing a high-vis shirt."

Kershaw said that the alleged shooter was out on parole after being released from jail in January.

While NT Health said that two people were being treated at the Royal Darwin Hospital, the number of injured people across multiple locations remained unknown.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who is now in London for D-Day commemorations, said the shooting was "criminal and violent act."

He tweeted: "we have seen a terrible act of violence take place in Darwin this evening. We know four people have lost their lives and there are a number of other casualties... My thoughts are with Territorians and the tight-knit community in Darwin."

Local police confirmed with the Chinese embassy in Australia that there were no foreign citizens identified yet as among the victims, according to an official from the embassy. Enditem

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