Cop killer shot dead after attempting to flee
WHAT WE KNOW
- Police officer Brett Forte has died after being shot while on duty
- Gunman shot dead by police about 11am Tuesday after trying to flee
- Stand-off with the gunman lasted hours
- Incident occurred at Seventeen Mile about 2.20pm Monday
- Exclusion zone were place in the Lockyer Valley, gunman was holed up in a shipping container
- Police had urged people to remain indoors
UPDATE 12.20PM: A man who killed a respected police officer was shot dead as he tried to flee officers this morning after a lengthy siege.
Southern Regional Assistant Commissioner Tony Wright said Rick Maddison, who shot and killed Senior Constable Brett Forte on Monday, had fired at police as he fled.
"(He) has exited the building in which he was in, he has been challenged by police, at that point in time he has fired at police," Ass Comm Wright said.
Specialist police returned fire. Maddison was declared deceased at the scene.
Ass Comm Wright said at this point in time all their thoughts and prayers were with Sen Const Forte, his wife Susan, and the extended family.
"As you can understand it's an extremely traumatic and tragic time for those families," he said.
"Our thoughts and prayers are also with the extended police family, the colleagues and friends of Brett who are at this time going through a range of personal experiences and feelings."
Ass Comm Wright said support was being provided to officers through specialist human services officers and police chaplains.
UPDATE 11.50AM: A man who killed Toowoomba police officer Brett Forte has been shot dead today after attempting to flee police.
Rick Maddison, who was at the centre of a stand off overnight, tried to flee from police about 11am.
Maddison had been holed up on a rural property off Wellers Rd overnight.
More to come.
Tuesday 11AM: Paramedics are on standby at the edge of an exclusion zone in the Lockyer Valley where a stand-off with an armed man continues.
The tense situation on Wellers Rd at Seventeen Mile has been ongoing for more than 18 hours as police continue to negotiate with a man suspected of shooting and killing Toowoomba police officer Brett Forte.
Tactical Crime Squad Senior Constable Forte died yesterday after attempting to intercept a vehicle at Seventeen Mile.
The shooter, Rick Maddison, is believed to have fled onto a rural property on Wellers Rd where he remains holed up, and possibly still armed.
The large exclusion zone remains in place which includes Fords Rd, Forestry Rd West, Sandy Creek Rd, Gerard Ln, Seventeen Mile Rd, Wellers Rd and Forest Rd.
Residents have spent a cold night at the edges of the exclusion zone as the stand-off between armed police and Maddison continues.
TUESDAY 6.30AM: The gunman suspected of killing policeman and father-of-three Brett Forte is still in a stand-off with police in the Lockyer Valley.
The career criminal was wanted by police when he allegedly opened fire on the officer with an automatic weapon.
The Toowoomba Tactical Crime Squad officer died yesterday afternoon after trying to pull over Rick Maddison, who got out of his vehicle and opened fire.
The shooting sparked a siege last night, with Maddison apparently heard laughing as he fired at the police helicopter from a sheltered position on the property.
The standoff is continuing this morning, with a spokeswoman for police confirming about 6.30am officers were continuing to negotiate with the man.
The spokeswoman said a Public Safety Preservation Act was still in force for the area of Seventeen Mile, which includes Fords Rd, Forestry Rd West, Sandy Creek Rd, Gerard Ln, Seventeen Mile Rd, Wellers Rd and Forest Rd.
Paramedics from the Queensland Ambulance Service are on standby at the scene.
It is understood Senior-Constable Forte was shot when he tried to intercept Maddison's car on Wallers Rd at Seventeen Mile, near Gatton in the Lockyer Valley, shortly after 2pm.
The gunman is believed to have continued to shoot at Sen-Constable Forte after the crash, before fleeing into bushland.
Police set up a large cordon, told residents to stay indoors, and sent the Special Emergency Response Team to the scene.
SERT officers arrived in an armoured vehicle as Maddison, who is believed to have holed up at a secure site on the property, continued to fire at the circling Polair helicopter.
Officers told residents stranded inside the cordon that Maddison had been seen by the police helicopter running on to acreage.
"He's on a farm next to a dam, police told us," resident Peter Hills said.
"They've got him surrounded and it's going to be a long night."
Resident Lisa Hayden watched as Sen-Constable Forte's colleagues tried to resuscitate him.
"I saw a paddywagon and they pulled a man out of the back seat and started to give him CPR in the drain," she said.
Mrs Hayden, who was in lockdown at her home last night about 1km from where the shooter was holed up, said she heard three gunshots just after 2.30pm.
"I went outside to suss out what was going on. There were definitely gunshots, I think three," she said.
Sen-Constable Forte was killed on the anniversary of the day Gold Coast detective Damian Leeding was shot in 2011.
Former deputy commissioner Ross Barnett was also shot and injured after trying to pull over an armed offender in Toowoomba on the same day in 1991.
Sen-Constable Forte was a hard-working, well-respected officer of 15 years. Police Union president Ian Leavers said he was fatally shot "simply trying to apprehend a wanted person".
"He was a family man, well respected by all," he said.
"I've spoken with some family, his colleagues, who are all in shock. They will be doing all they can to assist the investigation and ensure that the right thing can be done."
Sen-Constable Forte's wife Susan is also a police officer at Toowoomba.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk expressed her sorrow at the death of Sen-Constable Forte.
"My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the officer killed while carrying out his duties protecting our community," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"Every day, the brave officers of the Queensland Police Service put their lives on the line when they go to work."
Statement from Police Commissioner Ian Stewart
"It is with great sadness that I confirm the death of one of our own whilst on duty in the Lockyer Valley today.
"On behalf of the police family I wish to extend my heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Senior Constable Brett Forte.
"Whilst the full circumstances of today's tragic incident are still being determined, I want to highlight the tremendous bravery and tenacity of our police officers and the incredible dangers they face on a daily basis in keeping our community safe.
"Brett's death has hit our police family particularly hard and this incident is a reminder of the complexities and challenges our officers are confronted with.
"I offer my support to the officers who are still in the field attempting to resolve this incredibly dangerous situation.
"In the days to come our extended QPS family may feel the full effect of today's tragedy and I have encouraged staff to seek assistance and support each other through this very difficult time."
Shots shatter country tranquility
NEIGHBOURS have told of hearing automatic gunfire for months from the farm where alleged killer Rick Maddison holed himself up last night.
Some residents in the area had been terrified by the repeated sound of gunfire, while others saw it as a normal part of rural life.
Peter Hills, one of dozens of residents prevented from returning home by a police blockade, said a man known only as "Rick" lived on a property on Wallers Rd, near Gatton.
Gunfire had been heard from the same property long before yesterday's shooting.
"This doesn't happen here," he said.
"In Sydney and Melbourne, even Brisbane, yes. But not here."
Police told stranded residents in the area the man had been seen from a helicopter running on to acreage.
"He's on a farm next to a dam, police told us," resident Peter Hills said.
"They've got him surrounded and it's going to be a long night."
Peter Hills was one of dozens of residents prevented from returning to their properties.
But resident Terry Hayden said there had been nothing unusual about the gunfire in the previous weeks.
"Everyone out here shoots," Mr Hayden said.
Residents of the area say it is their little hideaway - an escape from the noise and commotion of southeast Queensland.
That all changed last night when a man opened fire on a police officer, leaving him to bleed in the street.
Mr Hills and Mr Hayden were last night dressed in shorts and high-vis orange work gear, out in the cold, while their wives were bunkered down on Forestry Rd, close to where the alleged killer lay in hiding inside a shipping container.
A squad of specialist police had the man surrounded and ordered residents to remain indoors.
"Everyone in that vicinity (exclusion zone), they're scared, they're worried, it's dark," Mr Hills said.
"We just had the findings from that Lindt siege in Sydney. Have they waited too long here?"
Queensland police killed on duty
May 29, 2011: Detective Senior Constable Damien Leeding (CIB) was confronted and shot by an armed offender at the Pacific Pines Tavern. Damien died in hospital on June 1, three days after being shot.
July 19, 2007: Constable Brett Irwin, 33, shot while executing an arrest warrant for breach of bail at Keperra, in Brisbane's north-west.
August 22, 2003: Senior Sergeant Perry Irwin, 42, shot while investigating reports of gunfire in bushland at Caboolture, north of Brisbane.
July 21, 2000: Senior Constable Norman Watt, 33, shot during an armed stand-off near Rockhampton, central Queensland.
June 29, 1989: Constable Brett Handran, shot attending a domestic dispute in Wynnum, in Brisbane's east.
July 29, 1987: Senior Constable Peter Kidd fatally shot in a raid at Virginia, in Brisbane's north.
February 29, 1984: Constable Michael Low shot attending a domestic dispute at North Rockhampton, central Queensland.
November 2, 1975: Senior Constable Lyle Hoey deliberately run down by a car near Mount Molloy in North Queensland.
April 9, 1969: Senior Constable Colin Brown shot while investigating the behaviour of a farm employee on a property near Dayboro, north of Brisbane.
March 27, 1968: Constable Douglas Gordon shot attending a domestic disturbance at Inala, in Brisbane's south.
October 26, 1964: Senior Constable Desmond Trannore shot attending a domestic disturbance near Gordonvale, North Queensland.
(Source: Queensland Police Service)
UPDATE: Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers says the family of Senior Constable Brett Forte is being supported by the service as a tense situation in the Lockyer Valley continues to unfold.
Mr Leavers said Snr Const Forte was murdered in the line of duty this afternoon trying to arrest a man known to police and wanted on a string of serious of offences.
"It was a priority for us to be able to capture this person," Mr Leavers said tonight.
"Things are still unfolding and (we) have our specialist police at the scene to do all they can to apprehend this person," he said.
"Police will do whatever they can to apprehend this person."
Mr Leavers said the shooting suspect was known to police and it was considered "paramount" he was arrested.
"And sadly the police officer involved stood no chance and that is the risk police inherently face every day they go to work," he said.
"I have spoken to some members of (Snr Const Forte's) family who are just in complete shock."
He described Snr Const Forte - an officer he knew - as a "decent person, a family man and respected by all his colleagues".
UPDATE: Husband and father-of-three Senior Constable Brett Forte was shot and killed today while trying to pull over a dangerous suspect in the Lockyer Valley.
A gunman is still on the loose and may be holed up in a shipping container.
There are conflicting reports about the events leading up to gunfight with Seven News suggesting the officer was trying to pull over the suspect when the situation escalated.
Up to three other officers were believed to have been injured in the incident.
There were also unconfirmed reports shots were fired at a police helicopter, which was forced to land for its own safety.
State Police Minister Mark Ryan said Snr Const Forte lost his life "doing his job selflessly serving the people of Queensland".
"A hero lost his life today," Mr Ryan said.
"Along with millions of Queenslanders, I pay tribute to his service.
"He will never be forgotten. With honour, he served."
UPDATE: A policeman shot and killed today was a father and experienced officer from Toowoomba's Tactical Crime Squad.
The Courier Mail is reporting Brett Forte died after attempting to pull over a man who opened fire in the Lockyer Valley east of Toowoomba this afternoon.
It's believed police are this evening in a siege situation, with the shooter in a shipping container.
An emergency situation was declared under the provisions of the Public Safety Preservation Act and an exclusion zone remains in place for the area of Fords Rd, Forestry Rd West, Sandy Creek Rd, Gerard Ln, Seventeen Mile Rd, Wellers Rd and Forest Rd.
Residents living in the exclusion zone are being advised to remain inside their homes until further notice.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said her thoughts were with the family.
"My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the officer killed while carrying out his duties protecting our community in the Lockyer Valley today," she said.
"Every day, the brave officers of the Queensland Police Service put their lives on the line when they go to work.
Each of us should be immensely grateful for the work they do."
UPDATE: A tense siege situation continues to unfold in the Lockyer Valley this evening where a man believed to have shot and killed a police officer remains on the run.
Police in body armour appear to have focused on an area off Redbank Rd which remains closed to traffic as the situation unfolds.
It has been confirmed three other officers were also injured in the incident which started at Seventeen Mile about 2.20pm.
The fallen officer had attempted to intercept a vehicle after responding to reports of a shooting incident at which point a man is believed to have shot the officer.
The officer was taken to Gatton Showgrounds where attempts at CPR were unsuccessful.
Three other officers were also injured in the incident, but their conditions are not known at this stage.
A throng of media has converged at the corner of Redbank Rd and Adare Rd where the heavily armed Special Emergency Response Team officers were seen entering a property.
The wanted man is believed to be in hiding on a semi-rural property.
UPDATE: A large exclusion zone remains in place in the Lockyer Valley where a gunman is still on the run after a fatal police shooting this afternoon.
Reports suggest the police officer was shot on duty responding to an incident at Seventeen Mile in the Lockyer Valley, about 2.20pm.
It is understood but police are yet to confirm the officer had responded to reports of a known offender at the location and attempted to intercept the vehicle when the suspect opened fire on the officer.
Paramedics treated the officer near the Gatton Showgrounds, ABC is reporting.
Gatton locals have heard varying accounts of the drama on Monday afternoon.
"I heard a prison officer and a police officer had been shot - and the policeman had been killed," the manager of the Shell service station at Gatton, Peter O'Brien said.
"The road has been closed and people in the area ae being advised to stay indoors.
"But we get little snippets of information from each driver coming in so it's hard to know what's correct."
Staff at Gatton Real Estate have been glued to their radios, with one saying she heard police were "laying spikes down on every road around Wallers Road and Fords Road in Seventeen Mile".
"And we heard the man has got the policeman's gun."
Lockyer Valley mayor Tanya Milligan said on Monday afternoon information was scarce at this time.
"We don't have all the facts but we certainly send our condolences and thoughts to the police officer's family, and urge residents in that area to stay inside and keep safe," Cr Milligan said.
Police in body armour are diverting traffic down various roads in the Lockyer Valley, and heavily armed Special Emergency Response Team vehicles were seen driving down Redbank Rd.
It is understood the armed man remains at large, and police continue to urge people to remain indoors.
UPDATE: A police officer has died after being shot.
An emergency situation has been declared and the gunman still on the run.
It's believed the police officer was shot at Seventeen Mile, east of Toowoomba.
The Chronicle contacted Police Media, which could not confirm the officer's death.
The death has been widely reported across Queensland media outlets.
3.30PM: An armed man is on the run from police after an officer was shot this afternoon.
Police have warned Lockyer Valley residents to remain inside.
An exclusion zone is in place in the Lockyer Valley after an attempted vehicle intercept this afternoon.
Initial information suggests the officer identified a "known offender" and attempted to intercept the vehicle in Seventeen Mile near Adare.
The officer is believed to have been critically injured in the incident.
The offender is believed to be armed and on the run in the area, with reports a police vehicle was stolen in the incident.
It is believed the gunman has also fired shots at a police helicopter sent to the scene.
"Police are currently at the scene of an incident in the Lockyer Valley this afternoon where an officer has been injured," a police spokesman said.
"Members of the public and the media are being advised to avoid the area surrounding Wallers Rd, Forestry Rd, Ringwood Rd and Fords Rd as the incident is still unfolding."
Special Emergency Response Team officers from Brisbane are en route to the area in the Lockyer Valley where an exclusion zone has been established.
Residents told radio station River949 multiple shots were heard in the area and police were door-knocking in the vicinity of the lockdown, urging people to stay indoors.
Residents are advised to keep doors closed and report anything suspicious to Policelink or, if an emergency, contact 000.
EARLIER: Police are responding to a critical incident in the Lockyer Valley this afternoon amid reports an officer has been shot.
Initial information suggests one police officer has been injured and another police vehicle damaged after officers responded to reports of a wanted offender in the area.
The incident, reported to be near the corner of Wallers and Forestry Rd, will be put in lockdown.
That exclusion zone will then be extended to Fords Rd.
Multiple Queensland Fire and Emergency Services vehicles and paramedics are at the scene.
Police are expected to declare an exclusion zone around the area shortly.