A 22-year-old woman recovering in hospital after being shot in Darwin could provide vital clues as to what happened, as police search for three vehicles linked to the alleged gunman.

Northern Territory police confirmed the ages of the four men allegedly killed by Darwin man Ben Hoffmann as he wandered around the city armed with a pump-action, 12-gauge shotgun less than six months after he was freed from jail.

Mr Hoffmann was wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet when he headed to Humpty Doo, 40km from Darwin, just after 4pm on Tuesday (local time).

The alleged Darwin shooter, Ben Hoffmann, is in custody. Photo / Supplied
The alleged Darwin shooter, Ben Hoffmann, is in custody. Photo / Supplied

Police said they "believe he was looking for an individual down that way".

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Less than two hours later, at 5.39pm, Mr Hoffman drove to the Palms Motel in Darwin's CBD and allegedly shot dead taxi driver Hassan Baydoun.

"He threatened two people at the location prior to shooting a 22-year-old female who sustained non-life threatening injuries to her legs," police said in a statement. "She is currently in hospital in a stable condition."

Northern Territory Police is also appealing for anyone who saw a man driving one of three cars — a white Toyota Hilux with the NT registration CC26QE, a red Holden Commodore with the NT registration CC01IR and a silver Proton with the NT registration CD49OU.

Police said the gunman allegedly threatened two people on Tuesday at the Palms Motel as he frantically searched for a man named Alex before opening fire.

Four people have been killed in shooting in Darwin. Photo / Twitter via @Steph_Zillman
Four people have been killed in shooting in Darwin. Photo / Twitter via @Steph_Zillman

"(Accused) is seen and heard going from room to room shouting 'Alex' and firing his gun," NT Police said.

Witnesses at the motel described a man, believed to be the 22-year-old woman's boyfriend, carrying his girlfriend out with her legs dripping with blood. When the boyfriend saw police at a Coles Express petrol station across the road, he left the woman there to go and get help.

"A man came running with a woman in his arms from next door which is the Palms Motel, which is the motel next to my motel, and he just dropped her on the footpath right in front of us," witness Leah Potter told the ABC.

"I ran and got some towels and wrapped up her legs. She had little holes all in her skin on both her legs and she was bleeding everywhere."

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Northern Territory Police said the alleged offender then attended a residence in Gardens Hill Crescent and fatally shot a 75-year-old male at 5.50pm.

At 5.59pm, a 57-year-old male was shot at the Buff Club in Stuart Park.

"The alleged offender has then attended an address in Jolly Street, Woolner, where he fatally shot a fourth person, a 52-year-old male," police said.

"At 6.24pm, he drove to the Peter McAulay Centre in Berrimah and unsuccessfully tried to enter the police station before leaving the area. At this stage it is unclear as to why he was trying to enter the police station."

Cameras at the building show Hoffmann trying to kick down the door and get in.

By 6.25pm, Hoffmann was on the phone to Duty Superintendent Lee Morgan.

Mr Morgan, hailed as a hero and expert negotiator today, stayed on the phone with Hoffmann and continued a conversation with him while simultaneously alerting police to his location.

At 6.44pm, police hunted the 45-year-old to a Darwin bridge. Specialist police from the tactical response group tasered the alleged shooter and wrestled him to the ground, kicking away his shotgun and arresting him at the corner of McMinn and Daly streets next to a car he was driving.

Police said the alleged offender is at Royal Darwin Hospital under police guard and is expected to be charged soon.