Frantic moments after cop killer opens fire
Harrowing footage has shown the moment paranoid gunman Ricky Maddison ambushed police officers with an automatic rifle near Toowoomba, killing Senior Constable Brett Forte.
The dramatic footage released shows the moment Maddison jumps from his car holding the gun, after leading police on a low-speed pursuit, which began in Toowoomba but ended on a dirt road in farmland 26 minutes away.
The footage was released by state coroner Terry Ryan who is holding an inquest into the deaths of Sen Const Forte and Maddison.
The chase began about a minute after Maddison hung up on police officer Sgt Peter Jenkins after a heated half-hour conversation at a phone box in Lindsay St in Toowoomba on May 29, 2017.
Police find Maddison in his silver Nissan Navara in Mary St about 1.52pm and follow him with lights and sirens, at the speed limit.
The crew in a car TW208 that found Maddison is asked by the radio operator the imminent need for a police chase, to which they respond: "We've been chasing him for a while. If you want us to stop, we'll stop on the intersection of Mackenzie St and Margaret St.
Minutes later a pursuit was authorised which continued on to the Warrego Highway.
At 2pm Sen Cons Forte and his partner Cath Nielsen join the pursuit in car TW753.
At 2.01pm, Sen Const Forte tells others involved in the pursuit: "Just be aware that he was involved in firearms-related offences so any takedown be careful."
At 2.04pm the footage changes to dashcam of the car TW753 with Sen Const Forte and Sen Const Nielsen, as they become one of the main cars in the pursuit. Sen Const Forte is driving.
At a spot on the highway at Helidon, police threw stingers on to the road.
At 2.05pm Sen Const Nielsen radios: "Stingers deployed, stingers deployed ... and he's gone around them."
"And he's just given himself a clap out of the window for going around them."
Communication continued with another police car about deploying a second set further up the road.
At the second location police were not able to throw out road spikes because of other cars.
At 2.14pm, Maddison suddenly veered off the highway.
"He's slowing down," an officer said over the police radio.
"He's going off road."
Police, with Sen Const Forte and Sen Const Nielsen in the lead car, followed Maddison along Forestry Rd before he turned onto Wallers Rd Gatton - a dirt road.
The police vehicle continued to follow Maddison along the dirt road, his car largely obscured by dust.
Just moments before the shooting, Sen Const Forte's partner Sen Const Nielsen asks about the police helicopter for a second time and says: "Do we have any progress on Polair at this point?"
Comms radio operator Sgt Ian Douglas responds: "Polair have been advised. Polair are monitoring this channel and when they have made a decision they will let us know."
Forty-five seconds later the unimaginable happens.
Maddison suddenly appeared standing beside his now stationary 4WD ute, pointed a gun at the police car and began firing at 2.18pm.
Harrowing radio calls could be heard of officers realising they were in serious danger.
"Automatic gunfire, automatic gunfire," an officer from the Helidon car TW269 said.
"Urgent. Automatic gunfire. A police car has rolled."
The vision shows Const Forte's car reversing until it rolled onto its side.
"Need urgent assistance, there's a vehicle, a police vehicle has rolled. He's shooting automatic fire at us. Full automatic," the officer from car TW269 said.
Sen Const Cath Nielsen then screams into the radio: "Urgent, urgent, urgent."
The officer in TW269 says: "That vehicle is in a lot of trouble. He's only about 50m away with full auto."
Then he said, "we've just rolled as well".
Sen Const Nielsen pleads for help.
"Can someone help?" she said.
"We need help here. We need help here.
"We are sitting ducks. Fortie's injured. Fortie's injured. There's blood. We need a hand here."
Sen Const Forte was shot in the right arm and in the groin area.
He was pulled from the car by his colleagues but later died.
Maddison fled to a nearby stronghold and was shot following a 20-hour siege with Special Emergency Response Team officers.
Originally published as 'Fortie's injured, there's blood': Frantic moments after shooter opens fire