|The murder spree began either late on the night of April 27 or early in the morning of April 28, 1996 at the Seascape guesthouse outside Port Arthur, where Bryant murdered the elderly couple who owned the business. It is believed that Bryant had made several offers to purchase this guesthouse in the previous months (using funds from a large inheritance), and was angry at the refusals.|
After leaving the guesthouse, Bryant drove to the Port Arthur historic site. At around 1:30 PM Bryant entered the "Broad Arrow Cafe", ordered and ate a light lunch, and then removed an AR15 rifle from his bag and commenced firing. Bryant rapidly fired 29 rounds, killing 22 people. Bryant then moved to the car park and fired at random people, killing several. He shot and killed the driver of one of the several tour buses parked side by side in the car park and three passengers, as well as several others who were taking cover in and around the buses. At some point Bryant swapped his AR15 for a FN FAL military rifle, kept in the boot of his car, where he also stored a magazine-fed shotgun. Bryant eventually drove his Volvo out of the carpark towards the park entrance. Along the way he left the car and, at point blank range, murdered a mother and her two small children who were trying to escape.
Bryant then went to the tollbooth at the entrance to the historic site, held up the driver of a BMW at gunpoint, murdered the three occupants and drove the car towards the Seascape guesthouse. At a petrol station along the way he saw a Toyota with two occupants, a man and a woman. Bryant forced the man at gunpoint into the boot of the BMW, then shot the woman dead. He then drove the BMW on to the guesthouse, arriving a few minutes before 2:00 PM.
Here he shot at several passing vehicles, injuring two more people. Bryant then released the man from the boot of the BMW, handcuffed him to a railing inside the guesthouse, and set the BMW on fire. Two policemen had approached the guesthouse within two hours, six hours later a team from the Tasmanian Police Special Operations Group had arrived, and an 18-hour standoff ensued.