From a single-story cinder block house grounded in the red dirt of Australia's arid centre, the distinct sound of three gunshots rang out into the desert on the evening of Saturday November 9, 2019.
Shortly afterwards, a 19-year-old Warlpiri man, now known for cultural reasons as Kumanjayi Walker, was pulled from the house in handcuffs by four police officers and taken to the community of Yuendumu's small cop shop - the place where he was to draw his final breaths.
The police officer who fired the three shots on that evening, Constable Zachary Rolfe, is set to stand trial for the teenager's murder next week - a trial that could change policing in the Northern Territory and across the country forever.
Rolfe, a decorated young cop and Afghanistan veteran who comes from a wealthy Canberra family, was deployed that evening from the nearest centre of Alice Springs, around 300 kilometres south-east of Yuendumu, in his role as a member of the Immediate Response Team.
According to a set of assumed facts tendered in court, he and the other officers, including a member of Darwin's police dog unit, were instructed to arrest Walker for breaching the conditions of his suspended sentence.
Walker, who had been released from prison in Alice Springs just a few weeks before, had cut off his ankle monitor and fled the residential rehabilitation facility he was required to attend.
Police officers in Yuendumu tried to arrest Walker in early November but were unsuccessful when Walker threatened them with a small axe.
With the body-worn footage of this incident fresh in their minds, Rolfe and his team rolled into town about 7pm that night, and found Walker in that cinderblock house.
Despite Rolfe's request for Walker to "just put your hands behind your back" as they tried to arrest him, the teenager pulled out a pair of scissors and stabbed Rolfe in his left shoulder.
The first shot then rang out, lodging in the middle of Walker's back.
After 2.6 seconds, Rolfe fired a second shot, this time hitting Walker elsewhere in the torso. A third shot, 0.53 seconds after that, hit him in the same place.
Ballistic evidence found all shots were fired from close range - the second and third from less than five centimeters away. The forensic pathologist who conducted the autopsy found the first shot was not fatal, but either the second or third was.
As is the case in many remote communities, Yuendumu - which is home to around 900 people, most of whom are Warlpiri - has its share of social problems.
A spate of attempted break-ins to healthcare workers' accommodation had resulted in them being evacuated just hours before the shooting, out of fear for their safety.
An ambulance was called from the community of Yuelamu, an hour's drive away, which was also understaffed due to recent break-ins forcing health workers out.
The Royal Flying Doctor Service was summoned from Alice Springs, but their takeoff was delayed as they tried to establish safe conditions for landing.
Walker's family sat outside the police station, praying. Kids left blood-red handprints on the station walls.
No one made it in time.
The response from authorities was swift. Rolfe was released from hospital, still recovering from his stab wound, on the Sunday. By Wednesday night, the murder charge had been laid - a charge he has since pleaded not guilty to, as well as two alternative charges of manslaughter and reckless conduct causing death.
On only his fourth day in the job, NT Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker addressed the tragedy and subsequent charge, saying a search for the truth had commenced.
Police unions in the NT and across the country have come out in staunch support of Rolfe, and NT Police Union president Paul McCue has been by his side at every court appearance.
On the other side, thousands were marching in the streets within days - in Alice Springs, Darwin and as far away as Melbourne. The pain of that tiny community resonated across the country.
Rolfe is only the second police officer to be charged with the murder of an Indigenous person in the Northern Territory's history, after First Class Constable Laurence "Jack" Clifford was acquitted of murder over the shooting death of an Aboriginal man named Jabanardi in the central Australian town of Ti Tree in 1980.
But anyone who has spent time in that part of the world knows that its Indigenous population and its police force have a long and complicated history - and an equally chequered present.
One just has to look at the NT's prison population, with Aboriginal people making up around 85 per cent of people in territory prisons, yet only 30 per cent of the general population.
When it comes to youth detention, Indigenous representation is closer to 99 per cent.
Naturally, Walker's death has been held up as a symbol of generations of oppression and violence against Aboriginal people at the hands of white police officers, judges and prison guards.
Almost $400,000 has been donated, mostly by strangers, to a campaign for an independent inquiry into the shooting.
Over three weeks, it will be up to a jury to decide whether those three gunshots, fired within a total of 3.13 seconds on that November evening, can be justified in those circumstances.
Rolfe, who celebrated his 30th birthday in a Darwin hotel room, has spent more than 18 months waiting for this trial, which has faced multiple delays due to the pandemic.
Walker's family, who have been fighting for access to the legal proceedings since day one, have faced many barriers for the same reason. Just last week, a convoy began the 16-hour drive from Yuendumu to Darwin, only to turn around and return home when a Covid outbreak shut down the Top End.
With a looming High Court challenge flagged by the prosecution just this week, against an NT Supreme Court decision allowing the defence to argue that Rolfe fired those three shots in "good faith" in his role as a police officer, the already shaky future of the trial remains uncertain.
These two young men, who were brought together with terrible consequences, could not have come from more different backgrounds.
One, a black man from one of the most remote places on Earth with a rough upbringing punctuated by family tragedy, crime and substance abuse.
The other, a white man whose last claim to fame was being awarded a bravery medal by Australia's governor-general. He strides into court each day flanked by police officer mates, family members and an expensive imported legal team - led by South Australia's top silk, David Edwardson QC.
Regardless of the outcome, the impacts of this trial will be felt across both sides of the spectrum - the police force and the Indigenous community - for generations to come.
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