Cop-killer was asked to surrender 85 times during deadly siege, court told

A man who fatally shot a Queensland police officer was asked to surrender more than 80 times during a 20-hour siege that ended with his death.

Oct 13, 2020, updated Oct 13, 2020
A memorial photograph of Constable Brett Forte at his funeral in Toowoomba, in June 2017. (Photo: AAP Image/Glenn Hunt)

A memorial photograph of Constable Brett Forte at his funeral in Toowoomba, in June 2017. (Photo: AAP Image/Glenn Hunt)

Ricky Maddison, 40, was shot dead by police the day after he killed Senior Constable Brett Forte, 42, on May 29, 2017.

Forte’s vehicle was peppered with 27 bullets when Maddison opened fire with an automatic weapon after leading police off the highway and over a dirt embankment in the Lockyer Valley, west of Brisbane.

Hours earlier Maddison called police from a payphone saying he was a “broken man”, they should “stop playing games” and he wouldn’t go to jail.

A hearing in Brisbane on Tuesday was told the deaths will be the subject of an inquest before Coroner Terry Ryan.

In the weeks before the deadly siege, Maddison was wanted by Toowoomba police over domestic violence-related charges that were discontinued in 2015.

He accused authorities of deliberately and unfairly targeting him and refused to go to a police station.

Police knew he was agitated, aggressive and may have had access to firearms, counsel assisting the coroner Rhiannon Helsen told the hearing.

Maddison also discovered a camera that Gatton police – without the knowledge of Toowoomba officers – placed near the gate of his property as part of an investigation into reports of automatic gunfire in the area.

“It seems likely the discovery of this camera fuelled Maddison’s paranoia,” Ms Helsen said.

He was very agitated and at times distressed when he phoned police at 1.16pm on May 29. He refused to surrender, saying the previous complaints were not investigated properly and he had lost everything.

Police authorised a slow pursuit of Maddison after his vehicle was spotted in Toowoomba shortly after he ended the call to police.

Only 4WD vehicles – like the one driven by Sen Const Forte – could continue when Maddison left the highway crossing a dirt embankment.

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The pursuit continued until Maddison stopped and almost immediately began firing at police.

Forte urgently reversed, but the vehicle ran up a bank and rolled, trapping him and his partner inside.

The pair was helped from the scene, but Forte could not be revived.

He died from extensive gunshot and shrapnel wounds.

During the 20-hour siege to take Maddison into custody, officers asked him to surrender 85 times.

He fired at police, including at a helicopter, 21 times before being shot dead as he tried to flee an inner cordon.

The inquest is expected to be held early next year.


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