Qld police shooter showed off gun stash

·3-min read

A man wanted over domestic-violence offences showed a stash of guns to a friend the day before he fatally shot an officer, an inquest has heard.

Ricky Maddison also taunted an officer when he called police from a pay phone just hours before shooting Senior Constable Brett Forte on May 29, 2017.

The 42-year-old police officer died after Maddison opened fire on his vehicle with an automatic weapon in the Lockyer Valley, west of Brisbane.

The following day Maddison, 40, was shot dead by police after being asked to surrender more than 80 times during a 20-hour siege.

Two days earlier, Maddison showed his friend Andrew Beveridge a stash of up to eight guns under the seat in his ute, the inquest into the death of Sen Const Forte and Maddison heard on Monday.

Mr Beveridge said Maddison told him: "It's only when I become big, big news that anyone's going to look at the case and see what they did to me."

Maddison had been wanted by police for months over domestic violence-offences including some charges that had been discontinued in 2015.

He was accused of pouring fuel over a woman in one incident and brandishing a gun in another.

Maddison claimed the woman was lying and he avoided being caught by police by going "off the grid" for months before the siege.

At 1.16pm on May 29, Maddison phoned police, first speaking to Sen Const Forte before asking for a senior officer.

During a conversation lasting more than 30 minutes with tactical crime squad team leader Sergeant Peter Jenkins, an agitated Maddison described himself as a "broken man" who had lost everything, the Coroners Court sitting in Toowoomba heard.

Sgt Jenkins asked Maddison to come to the station, or say where he could be found, but Maddison said "youse know where I am".

Shortly after Maddison abruptly ended the call, police spotted his utility in Toowoomba and began an authorised pursuit.

While numerous vehicles from neighbouring police stations were involved, officers were warned to be careful during any "take-down" because Maddison had been involved in firearm offences.

Officers followed Maddison for at least 20 minutes, continuing when he veered off the main road onto a dirt track accessible only to four-wheel drives.

Sen Const Forte and Senior Constable Catherine Nielsen were in a vehicle just behind Maddison when he pulled over next to a shut gate, got out of his ute and opened fire on the officers with an automatic weapon.

The police vehicle was peppered with 27 bullets as it reversed up an embankment before rolling, trapping the officers inside.

In footage played before the inquest, a policewoman can be heard calling for help, saying: "We're sitting ducks."

Three officers from another car approached their colleagues on foot, while Maddison fired at them, Detective Senior Sergeant Fiona Hinshelwood told the Coroners Court sitting in Toowoomba.

They helped Sen Const Nielsen out the car, before removing Sen Const Forte.

It was some 30 minutes after Maddison stopped the car that officers realised Sen Const Forte had been shot.

"They obviously took some time to extract him from the vehicle," Sen Sgt Hinshelwood said.

"In fact, officers had to smash the windscreen in order to pull him through the windscreen to exit the vehicle and then move him around out of the line of fire."

Senior Constable Brett Forte most likely died while being removed from his car due to wounds he sustained at the hands of the gunman, but officers and paramedics tried to revive him until he was declared dead

About 30 witnesses are expected to give evidence during the two-week inquest before State Coroner Terry Ryan.