A passerby who tried to save the life of a young BWS worker after he was allegedly stabbed to death recalled the tragic moment he died in his arms.
Declan Laverty, 20, was minutes away from finishing his shift at the Airport Tavern BWS self-service bottle shop in Jingili, Darwin, just before 9pm on Sunday, when he refused to serve a male customer from 19 years.
The teen allegedly stabbed Mr. Laverty and fled the scene in a blue 2014 Toyota Camry.
Moments later, a witness ran into the bottle shop and desperately tried to revive the young worker.
“I just did what I could to try to save the young man’s life. It was actually horrible,” he told Nine News.
Declan Laverty, 20, was stabbed to death Sunday night while working in a Darwin bottle shop.
“I thought I had him there but then no, he passed away in my arms.”
Mr Laverty had sent his father a final text message after he was allegedly attacked.
“I love you, I got stabbed,” the message read.
The worker’s father, who did not want to be named, told Darwin’s Mix FM radio station that his son had been looking for a new job because he “couldn’t handle” abusive customers anymore.
“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.
Declan Laverty (left) was allegedly stabbed while working at BWS in Darwin. His sister Bridget Laverty (right) remembered him as ‘the best brother’
“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.
He added that his last interaction with his son was a fist bump, before he left for work at 2 p.m.
“He went to work and made my fist and everything like he always does,” he said.
The airport tavern and BWS bottle shop in Darwin remained a crime scene on the Monday morning following the tragic death of Mr Laverty.
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.
The 19-year-old who allegedly stabbed Laverty was arrested by police and remains in custody.
Police also arrested two other people, aged 15 and 16, in connection with the alleged stabbing and two other alleged robberies in and around Darwin that same night.
Charges are expected to be filed Tuesday.
During a news conference Monday, Deputy Police Commissioner Michael White said detectives believe the alleged stabbing is related to two separate matters involving Darwin that same night.
“Two other people are also in custody, ages 15 and 16, they are assisting police with investigations in relation to this matter, and also a separate matter at the bottle shop at the beachfront hotel that same night.” said.
Police believe the first incident took place at the Beachfront Hotel in central Darwin, and the second on Karama Street in the city’s eastern suburbs.
“We believe these two incidents are linked, and potentially a third incident earlier in the evening in Karama, where a young man was assaulted and various items were stolen from him,” the deputy commissioner of police said.
Investigators seized a blue Toyota Camry that they claim was present at all three incidents.