The heartbroken father of the young man killed in a stabbing at a BWS store in Darwin has revealed the final text his son sent him as he was dying.
Declan Laverty, 20, was finishing up his shift at the Airport Tavern bottleshop in Jingili on Sunday night when he was stabbed by a customer, allegedly for refusing to serve him because the store was approaching its 9 pm closing time.
After becoming fatally wounded, the worker managed to send a short text to his father, reading: “Love you, been stabbed”.
Emergency services arrived on the scene to find Mr Laverty already dead and the offender had fled. A 19-year-old man was arrested in relation to the incident early on Monday morning, and is expected to be charged.
Worker was looking for another job after series of violent incidences
The victim's father, who did not want to be named, told a local radio station that his son had been exposed to many abusive customers during his time at the BWS store, and was eager to find other employment.
"He's had a screwdriver pulled on him only a few weeks ago," the father told Mix FM, before adding: "One of the other staff members has been physically attacked and he couldn't come back to work.
"They get attacked quite often at that particular one as far as I am aware. He was looking for another job. He just couldn't handle it anymore," he continued.
When asked about what kind of man his son was, the father described the 20-year-old as a "wonderful, opinionated, strong lad". After the incident the father visited the BWS shop and expressed he had not yet come to terms that his son was gone.
“They’re just little things,” he explained. “When I come home his dinner is in the fridge from last night. It’s incredibly difficult."
Mr Laverty's loved ones have taken to social media to pay tribute, with one friend posting on Facebook.
"Shattered no words R.I.P Declan Laverty," before sharing the hashtag #puttheknifedown, while another simply commented, "I miss you so much".
Police believe the stabbing could be connected to an incident overnight at the Beachfront Hotel in Nightcliff, and possibly a third incident earlier in the evening where a person was allegedly assaulted and robbed in Karama.
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