The industry was rocked this week after the death of a bottle shop employee in Darwin on Sunday night.

Northern Territory Police said the 20 year old worker was assaulted with a knife at the Airport Tavern BWS store in the suburb of Jingili. Police and St John Ambulance attended the scene, but the man was unable to be revived.

An offender was arrested in relation to the death by the NT Police Major Crime Unit on Monday.

In a statement, CEO of Endeavour Group, Steve Donohue, confirmed the tragic news and thanked emergency service crews for their efforts.

“Our thoughts are with the team member’s family, friends and loved ones,” he said.

Endeavour Group will be offering counselling and support to all team members in Darwin across both BWS and ALH Hotels.

Retail Drinks Australia also offered its condolences in a statement made on behalf of the Board of Directors and Management.

“We are deeply saddened to learn of a fatality of one of our members’ staff, which occurred over the weekend at a Darwin retail liquor store,” the statement said.

“We pass on our heartfelt condolences to the loved ones of the staff member who lost their life in this tragic incident, and extend our thoughts to all team members.”

Hospitality NT called the incident “a heinous act of violence”, and noted that the hospitality industry in both NT and around Australia stands together in mourning.

“It is with a heavy heart that we come together today to mourn the loss of one of our own. There has been a tragic and horrific incident that took the life of a valued member of our industry, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones during this difficult time,” a statement read.

“We are committed to supporting each other and to ensuring that we honour the memory of our colleague in the best way possible. We have reached out to the venue and their staff to offer our support and will be reaching out to the family to offer our sincere condolences and support.”

The incident comes at a time when alcohol-fuelled violence in the NT has been in the spotlight. One such outcome of this has been some bottle shops, including BWS, cutting their opening hours in Darwin due to safety concerns.

Brydie Allen

Brydie Allen is the Editor of National Liquor News. She has been with Food and Beverage Media since 2019, when she joined the company as a journalist across National Liquor News, Bars & Clubs, The...

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