Tragic new details have emerged of the last moments of a young bottle shop worker as his alleged attacker prepares to face court on a murder charge.
Declan Laverty, 20, was minutes away from finishing his shift at the Airport Tavern BWS self-service bottle shop in Darwin just before 9pm on Sunday when he was allegedly stabbed multiple times.
The worker texted his father to say ‘I love you, I got stabbed’ before dying at the scene in the arms of a shocked witness.
A 19-year-old man who reportedly fled the scene but was arrested early Monday morning.
He has since been charged with one count of murder and aggravated robbery. He will appear in Darwin Local Court later on Tuesday.
Police will allege that the 19-year-old was in a blue 2014 Toyota Camry that pulled into the Jingili business just before closing time on Sunday night.
The tragic death of BWS worker Declan Laverty (right) has sparked an outpouring of tributes as his alleged attacker is charged with murder.
Another adult was initially denied service, but returned to the store to make a legal purchase.
It will be alleged that the 19-year-old repeatedly stabbed Mr Laverty during the transaction.
Two teenage boys, ages 15 and 16, were each charged with two counts of aggravated robbery for their alleged involvement in earlier incidents in Karama and Rapid Creek.
Both were remanded to appear in court on Tuesday.
Another 17-year-old man arrested Monday night was charged with aggravated robbery in the alleged Rapid Creek incident and was released on bail to appear in court in April.
None of the three underage teenagers charged with robbery are charged in connection with the fatal stabbing of Mr Laverty in Jingili.
Investigations into the alleged stabbing and the separate aggravated robberies continue.
Police urge Darwin locals with CCTV and dash cam footage of the movements of a blue 2014 Toyota Camry with Northern Territory registration CE71BI between 5pm on Sunday March 19 and 4am on Monday March 20 to introduce themselves.
The vehicle is believed to have been in the suburbs of Karama, Alawa, Coconut Grove, Jingili and Rapid Creek.
Family members continue to pay tribute to Declan Laverty (pictured right with an uncle)
Meanwhile, heartbroken family and friends continue to pay tribute to Mr. Laverty, who had been looking for a new job when his life was abruptly cut short.
An uncle thanked everyone for the overwhelming support and messages.
“I appreciate every kind word said about him, and the gesture honestly brings me to tears,” she wrote Monday night.
“To realize that the people who knew him in Darwin and those who didn’t have all had the best things to say… I couldn’t be more proud.”
Family friends have established a online fundraising to ease the financial strain on Mr Laverty’s mother, who wants to take his body to Cairns in far north Queensland.
“He was just a kid making an honest living and no one would have thought he wouldn’t come home,” the page says.
His mother would love to take him home for burial, but as you can imagine, that comes with a financial burden.
“She has dedicated her life to helping others, and it would be great if our amazing community would do even a little to give back.”
“As her friends, we’re struggling to find out how we can help her, and we think this is one small way we can help ease her burden at this unimaginable time.”
“If we do raise any additional funds, we’ll make sure they go toward his funeral costs and any other way we can help the family at this terrible time.”
Laverty’s father, who asked not to be named, told Darwin’s Mix FM radio station in Monda that his son had been looking for a new job because he “couldn’t handle” abusive customers anymore.
The young bottle shop worker was allegedly stabbed to death at The Airport Tavern drive-thru BWS (pictured) moments before closing time Sunday night.
Declan Laverty (left) was allegedly stabbed while working at a BWS drive-thru in Darwin. His sister Bridget (right) remembered him as ‘the best brother’
“A screwdriver was thrown at him just a few weeks ago,” the father said.
‘One of the other staff members was physically attacked and was unable to return to work.
‘They get attacked quite often in that particular, as far as I know. I was looking for another job. He just couldn’t take it anymore.
The doting father said he came home Sunday night to find his son’s half-eaten dinner in the fridge.
He remembered Mr Laverty as a “wonderful, headstrong, strong lad” who had moved to the NT from Cairns in Queensland two years earlier.
“He loved his football, and he was really into music at the time.
“I was trying to get some songs out and was working 30-odd hours at the airport pub.”
The father called for an end to the violence in Darwin and said ‘something has to be done’.
‘It’s getting very, very bad for everyone. Whether it’s my son or someone else.
Laverty’s sister, Bridget, wrote a tribute on Facebook on Monday: “Declan, you were the best brother I could ask for.”
“Your silly laugh, your love, your big head will be sorely missed my brother, forever 20,” he said.
Mr. Laverty (pictured) was dead when paramedics and officers arrived, despite several attempts by shocked witnesses to try to revive him.
A man who was one of the first on scene and tried to save the worker’s life described the worker as a “beautiful child.”
The bottle shop is part of the Airport Tavern, a popular pub described on its Facebook page as the heart of the community, which Jingili residents call their local.
Both the tavern and the bottle shop remained cordoned off as a crime scene Monday morning, with several police vehicles on the scene.
Laverty’s death has sparked a flurry of tributes from the hotel industry and the Endeavor Group, owner of the tavern and bottle.
The tragedy has also saddened US Senator Jacinta Price, whose Darwin office is next door to the tavern and bottle shop.
‘This is very difficult to accept. The victim of this horrendous crime is the same age as one of my children,’ she said.
Mr Laverty’s father said his son was looking for a new job before he was allegedly stabbed to death during a shift at BWS.
“We cannot continue to experience such horrible and dehumanizing crime and violence. The Territory government may be celebrating a bi-election victory, but the people of the NT continue to suffer.
‘I can only imagine the pain this young man’s family is going through. No more crime, no more violence, it has to stop!’
It is the devastating message that no parent, sibling or loved one can imagine hearing and the pain will be immense.
NT Senior Deputy Minister Nicole Manison also described the incident as a tragedy and expressed condolences to the victim’s family, friends and colleagues.
Declan Laverty, 20, had been looking for a new job at the time.