A man who killed a police officer in Queensland’s Lockyer Valley has been shot dead after holding police at bay during an overnight siege in a farmhouse.
Rick Maddison, 40, was declared dead this morning after he was shot by police while trying to flee and opening fire on police.
Meanwhile, the gunman has been described as a career criminal, who was arrested for torture in the Lockyer Valley town of Gatton in 2008, as well as having been arrested for deprivation of liberty and drug offences.
Queensland Police Union chief executive Ian Leavers confirmed that Maddison had a “serious history” and intimated that the gunman should not have been at large in the community.
No other officers were injured during the incident on Tuesday morning in which Maddison was shot.
Police say Maddison ran from the shed he had been holed up in on a rural property at Seventeen Mile in the Lockyer Valley and fired at heavily-armed police.
Special Emergency Response Team (SERT) officers shot back and Southern Region assistant commissioner Tony Wright confirmed Maddison was declared dead at the scene.
“The male person who is the subject of our inquiries in relation to the death of Senior Constable Brett Forte has exited the building in which he was in,” said Mr Wright.
“He has been challenged by police.
“At that point in time, he has fired at those police. Specialist police have returned fire. The male person has been shot and that male person has been declared deceased at the scene.”
As Maddison had told officers he had explosives, police have been scouring the area to check if the gunman’s claims were true and prevented residents from returning to the property.
Maddison went on the run after shooting dead Senior Constable Brett Forte, from the Toowoomba Tactical Crime Squad, on Monday.
Senior Constable Forte died after being shot when he tried to stop Maddison’s car on a road at Seventeen Mile in the Lockyer Valley on Monday afternoon.
Maddison then fled into bushland at Adare, near Gatton, and an exclusion zone was declared over several square kilometres.
Residents have said they are relieved to hear the news, with many people separated from loved ones since yesterday.
The exclusion zone around the scene is still in place.
Resident Terry Hayden said his wife was among those in lockdown on the other side of the police cordon.
He said everyone was relieved it was over.
“The community is much safer there now — we didn’t realise the extent of how dangerous the man was,” he said.
“You quite often hear gunfire out there — it’s not generally an issue — but now to learn of the capabilities of the man and what he was doing and had — utter relief.”
Police said Maddison had a lengthy and violent criminal past.
Officer died ‘doing a job he loved’
Flowers are being left outside a Toowoomba police station in honour of Senior Constable Forte.
His death came exactly six years to the day that Detective Senior Constable Damien Leeding (CIB) was confronted and shot by an armed offender at a tavern on the northern Gold Coast.
Queensland Police Union (QPU) president Ian Leavers said earlier today Senior Constable Forte had died doing a job he loved.
“That’s the only positive we can take out of this — that Brett was doing a job that he loved and he was committed to,” he said.
“As we know yesterday — they [the officers] didn’t have time to think — it happened that quickly, how it unfolded, and they did what they could.
“Tragically, Brett never had a chance and we’ve got to live with that and we’ve got to continue on and support Brett’s family and do the best we possibly can there and rebuild.”