Senior Constable Brett Forte with wife and fellow police officer Susan Forte.
Senior Constable Brett Forte with wife and fellow police officer Susan Forte.

SHOOTING: Neighbour heard 'machine gun like' shots

NEIGHBOURS have told of the fear they felt when they heard a round of gunfire yesterday afternoon.

Senior Constable Forte was gunned down in the Lockyer Valley yesterday by Rick Maddison, wanted on a string of charges.

Police have reportedly confirmed Maddison was armed with a semi-automatic weapon in what Police Commissioner Ian Stewart described as a "very, very serious matter".

The veteran Toowoomba-based officer served with the Tactical Crime Squad and was among a number of heavily armed police responding to reports of gunfire at Seventeen Mile about 2.20pm yesterday.

Snr Const Forte was shot and killed despite the desperate efforts of his colleagues who performed CPR at the Gatton Showgrounds.

Rick Maddison is suspected of fatally shooting Toowoomba police officer Brett Forte.
Rick Maddison is suspected of fatally shooting Toowoomba police officer Brett Forte. Contributed

Wellers Rd resident Kylie Shepherd told The Chronicle she heard heavy "machine gun like" shots ring out across her property, and immediately feared the worst.

She said multiple police vehicles raced past her home moments before the gunfire blasts.

"I heard the sirens and wondered what they were for, I thought they sounded fairly close," she said.

"Then six police cars went racing past, they went down the end of road and I heard three rounds of machine gun fire and then silence.

"It's unfortunate someone has been killed, I just want him to be caught so he doesn't hurt anyone else, we don't need people like him out there."

Lockyer Valley shooting.
Lockyer Valley shooting.

Other neighbours told The Courier Mail they heard automatic gunfire for months from the farm where Mr 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 Wellers Rd.

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."

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.
 


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