A day before Ricky Maddison rounded on police officers with an SKS semiautomatic rifle, he led his best mate to the back of his car, unveiled a cache of guns and declared he was about to "become big, big news".

The chilling evidence emerged at an inquest into the 2017 deaths of Senior Constable Brett Forte and the man who killed him - along with a harrowing radio call in which an officer pleaded for help and claimed they were "sitting ducks".

Police in Toowoomba had not been told of his links to automatic weapons, with intelligence reports going back 10 years, the inquest was told.

Senior Constable Brett Forte was shot dead near Toowoomba in 2017.
Senior Constable Brett Forte was shot dead near Toowoomba in 2017.

And they had not been told about an ongoing investigation into reports of automatic gunfire in the bush, despite police in nearby Gatton setting up a hidden camera near Maddison's home.

At the time, there was no link between Maddison and multiple calls from locals saying they could hear an automatic weapon being fired.

One of Ricky Maddison's closest friends, Andrew Beveridge told the court the day before the shooting Maddison came to his home and showed him up to eight guns in the back of his car.

Maddison, who was wanted by police and was in hiding, told his friend: "It's only when I become big, big, news that anyone is going to look at me case and see what they did to me."

The next day Maddison made an expletive-laden phone call to officers from a pay phone, demanding to know what charges they would level at him.

The inquest heard Maddison believed police were out of get him and complained that an ex-partner had invented allegations against him.

The court heard Maddison was accused of pouring fuel over his ex-partner, leading to him being charged with torture and deprivation of liberty in 2015.

The charges were later dropped but Maddison believed police were attempting to re-instigate proceedings.

Ricky Maddison told a friend he was about to “become big, big news” a day before he killed Brett Forte.
Ricky Maddison told a friend he was about to “become big, big news” a day before he killed Brett Forte.

Two years later, Maddison went to the woman's house and fired a gun into the air.

This incident led to multiple attempts to find Maddison, who managed to evade police throughout March, April and May. Police believed he was living "off the grid".

An arrest warrant was later issued for his arrest.

"I've been f … ed," he told Toowoomba Sergeant Peter Jenkins during the May 29 phone call, just an hour before he would shoot Sen Const Forte.

Sgt Jenkins repeatedly asked Maddison to come into the station or reveal his whereabouts.

"If you wish to come in and speak to us, then we will sort the matter out," Sgt Jenkins said.

Maddison refused, demanding to know whether police would reinstate the domestic violence charges he'd "fought for two years".

"I can tell you there are a number of charges that relate to you … I'm not going to discuss your case over the phone with you," Sgt Jenkins said, adding that Maddison should "man up" and turn himself in.

"You f … man up and come f … get me then," Maddison said.

Where Ricky Maddison was shot dead by police after he killed Brett Forte. Picture: Channel 10
Where Ricky Maddison was shot dead by police after he killed Brett Forte. Picture: Channel 10

Police dashcam footage shows officers located Maddison in his car about 1.52pm following the phone call and began an authorised pursuit.

Officers organised for tyre-deflating "stingers" to stop Maddison, specialist police were called and requests were made for Polair to help.

Officers were warned Maddison had been involved in firearms incidents, "so any take down, be very careful".

At a spot on the Warrego Highway at Helidon, police threw stingers onto the road but Maddison was able to swerve around them.

At 2.14pm, Maddison suddenly veered off the highway. Police followed him 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.

Brett Forte’s widow Susan Forte arrives at day one of an inquest into the shooting death of her husband.
Brett Forte’s widow Susan Forte arrives at day one of an inquest into the shooting death of her husband.

Maddison suddenly appeared standing beside his now stationary 4WD ute, pointed a gun at the police car and began firing.

Harrowing radio calls could be heard of officers realising they were in serious danger.

"Automatic gunfire, automatic gunfire," one officer said.

"Need urgent assistance. A police vehicle has rolled. He's shooting automatic fire."

Vision from Sen Const Forte's dash camera showed the car reversing until it rolled onto its side.

A radio call was made by Sen Const Forte's partner, Senior Constable Catherine Nielsen, who pleaded for help.

"We need help here," she said.

"We are sitting ducks."

Maddison fired a total of 46 rounds at the police cars, the inquest heard.

One of the bullets hit Sen Const Forte in the right arm.

Another struck him in the groin area.

Brett Forte’s police vehicle following the fatal shooting. Picture: Channel 7
Brett Forte’s police vehicle following the fatal shooting. Picture: Channel 7

Officers following in a vehicle from Helidon - Senior Constable Scott Hill, Senior Constable Stephen Barlow and Constable Brittany Poulton - rushed to help Sen Const Nielsen despite Maddison continuing to fire.

They then had to smash the front window to get Sen Const Forte out of the car at 2.38pm and took him to a safe area to commence CPR.

He was declared dead at 3.29pm.

Specialist police endured a 20-hour siege with Maddison after the shooting, eventually killing him after he came out of his property firing his weapon.

The inquest, which was attended by Sen Const Forte's father, retired officer Stuart and wife, current serving officer Susie, continues.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Originally published as 'Big, big news': Cop-killer's chilling warning before bloodbath



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