The alleged Darwin shooter is in custody.
The alleged Darwin shooter is in custody.

'Ice destroys people': Friend of accused shooter speaks

IT TOOK a devastating ice addiction to distance Jennifer Graetz from accused Darwin gunman Ben Hoffmann.

The Bowen-based woman went to school with the man who allegedly killed four people in last night's massacre in the Darwin CBD. She said they were good mates from age 13 until they were 25, beginning at their days at Dripstone Middle School.

Ms Graetz said Mr Hoffmann had always been very kind to her - talking cars and going camping together.

"We used to hang out a fair bit, he was a good kid just a bit wayward I guess. Then he got into the drugs, the ice and bikie scene," Ms Graetz said.

"He's never done anything wrong to me, if anything he has always been kind and looked out for me.

"He's had a rough trot ... it's what that drug does, the ice is shocking. It's like a disease, it just destroys people."

She said Mr Hoffmann's brother, Clint, has been active in ice support and had developed a self help guide.