Brett Andrew FORTE

Husband of Serving QPS Member – Susan

Son of Retired QPS Member – Stuart

Late of  ?

Queensland Police Service

Regd. #  ?????

Rank:  Senior Constable

Stations: ?,  Toowoomba Tactical Crime Squad – Death

ServiceFrom  ? ? ?  to  29 May 2017 = ? years Service

Awards:  Commendation for Brave Conduct (posthumous), granted on 14th of March, 2018

Born? ? ?

Died on:  Monday  29 May 2017

Age?

Cause:  Shot – Murdered – Semi Auto gun fire – Violent Traffic Offender Stop

Event location:   Seventeen Mile, Lockyer Valley region, near Toowoomba

Event date:  Monday  29 May 2017

Funeral date:  Wednesday  7 June 2017

Funeral location:  University of Southern Queensland campus, Toowoomba

Buried at?

 Memorial located at?

 

Paul FORTE

 

BRETT IS mentioned on the Police Wall of Remembrance

 

 

 Funeral location TBA

FURTHER INFORMATION IS NEEDED ABOUT THIS PERSON, THEIR LIFE, THEIR CAREER AND THEIR DEATH.

PLEASE SEND PHOTOS AND INFORMATION TO Cal

May they forever Rest In Peace

The wife of slain policeman Brett Forte has been tormented outside Toowoomba police station

QUEENSLAND’S police union has labelled the torment of Brett Forte’s wife today as “nothing short of a disgrace”.

Widow and fellow senior constable Susan Forte built the courage to make a midday public appearance, after spending the morning surrounded by family, friends and colleagues inside the Toowoomba police station.

About 10.45am, Susan emerged from the station with tears streaming down her face and a large bouquet of flowers in her hand.

She walked slowly towards the makeshift memorial that had been made in her husband’s honour.

Susan Forte is supported by friends and family as she visits a makeshift memorial to her husband outside Toowoomba police station. Picture: Darren England<br />

Susan Forte is supported by friends and family as she visits a makeshift memorial to her husband outside Toowoomba police station. Picture: Darren England

But as she laid the bouquet down — inconsolable and barely able to stand on her own accord — Rick Maddison’s supporters saw an opportunity to let their voice be heard.

One person in a full car yelled “What about Rick?” as the Forte family huddled together, hunched over Susan in the floral sea of colours.

A gasp could be heard, but the family did not retaliate as the station wagon continued down Neil St.

Union president Ian Leavers lambasted the culprit.

“It is nothing short of a disgrace that associates of a career criminal and murderer would dare heckle a grieving widow while she pays tribute to her husband,” he said.

“Police and their families deserve better than to be treated like this.”

Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers says officers and their families deserve better<br />

Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers says officers and their families deserve better

Despite the shock, Brett’s father Stuart turned and smiled as the family walked away — Susan arm-in-arm with her daughter Emma Morris.

Stuart confirmed yesterday that Brett’s funeral would be held in Toowoomba next Wednesday at the University of Southern Queensland campus.

Stuart said the family was doing its best to cope with the tragedy and the subsequent attention it had received.

Early morning visits to the Brett’s shrine outside the station have formed part of the grieving process for the family over the last two days.

Via a lawyer yesterday, Maddison’s family also spoke of their pain.

Memorial located at: ?<br /> A card left by Brett Forte’s in-laws. Picture: Darren England<br />

Memorial located at: ?
A card left by Brett Forte’s in-laws. Picture: Darren England

A statement — read out by Alroe and Sullivan’s Solicitors practice manager Michele Alroe -claimed the murderer was more than just a career criminal.

“To us he was not the one-dimensional career criminal which the media are now portraying but rather a loved son, brother, nephew, uncle, grandson, friend and mate to many and as such will be sadly mourned,” the statement read.

The statement went on to say that Maddison’s actions may never be fully understood, but it expressed condolences to the police force and the Forte family.

The streets of Toowoomba are rife with anecdotes about Maddison’s self-destructive behaviour.

Friend Anthony Hogan said Maddison was “banned from more licenced venues than he was allowed into”, but said he would never hesitate to help out a mate.

“His name can strike fear into people. He was notorious … I’ve known Rick for many years and I’m not ashamed to say,” Mr Hogan said.

“I loved the guy and I will miss him.

“I’m not defending his actions or his criminal side, nor would he want me to defend him, but those who truly know him, well there was a caring and fiercely loyal side to the man too.”

Stuart acknowledged that the Forte’s were not the only family grieving and maintained that he felt no ill-will towards Maddison for his actions.

Susan and Brett Forte on their wedding day.<br />

Susan and Brett Forte on their wedding day.

Brett Forte’s funeral is expected to be held in Toowoomba next Wednesday.

The Courier-Mail reported today on the heroic actions of Senior Constable Forte’s partner the moments after he was shot.

Constable Forte was shot by Maddison as he gave chase to the criminal in bushland on Monday.

It is understood Constable Forte and his partner were in one of three police cars that followed known criminal Maddison down a dirt road in a “low speed chase” around 2pm on Monday at Seventeen Mile, near Toowoomba.

His colleague used her bare hands to tear a hole in the windscreen of their upturned car so she and others could drag him to safety — all while under fire from a crazed gunman with an automatic weapon.

The Courier-Mail understands Constable Forte and his partner were in one of three police cars that followed known criminal Maddison down a dirt road in a “low speed chase” around 2pm on Monday at Seventeen Mile, near Toowoomba.

In bushland, Maddison stopped and opened fire with a high-powered automatic weapon, hitting Toowoomba Tactical Crime Squad officer Constable Forte.

His vehicle and the other vehicles tried to reverse, but his rolled on the rough terrain, trapping him and his partner inside. With Maddison still firing, several officers from the second vehicle ran back to try to get their badly injured colleague out.

Donations for Brett Forte Remembrance Fund

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http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/the-wife-of-slain-policeman-brett-forte-has-been-tormented-outside-toowoomba-police-station/news-story/75e376c3836cea1f00850b4f9559f491

Family of cop killer Rick Maddison releases statement

THE FAMILY of a gunman who shot dead Senior Constable Brett Forte have called his actions inexcusable but deny he was a “one dimensional career criminal”.

In a statement released through lawyers this morning, the family of Toowoomba man Rick Maddison expressed their condolences to the family and friends of Senior Constable Brett Forte.

“The Maddison family wishes to express our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the late Senior Constable Brett Forte for their tragic loss,” the statement read.

Senior Constable Forte’s funeral is expected to be held in Toowoomba next Wednesday.

The scene of a tense stand-off between police and Rick Maddison near Gatton earlier this week.<br />

The scene of a tense stand-off between police and Rick Maddison near Gatton earlier this week.

They said Rick’s actions could not be excused, “nor is it likely they will be ever fully understood”.

“To us he was not the one- dimensional career criminal which the media are now portraying but rather a loved son, brother, nephew, uncle, grandson, friend and mate to many and as such will be sadly mourned,” the statement read.

The family also expressed their support for QPS and thanked negotiators for their attempts to resolve the situation peacefully.

Senior Constable Brett Forte.<br />

Senior Constable Brett Forte.

“We express our support for the Queensland Police Service and the often difficult and dangerous work its officers are required to undertake. We particularly wish to thank the police negotiators for their attempts to resolve a very difficult situation peacefully.

“The Maddison family thank the many people who have expressed to them their overwhelming support, sympathy, love and prayers,

 “We ask both the press and public to accept the pain and remorse we are feeling and to respect our privacy at this very difficult time.”

Rick Maddison was shot dead by specialist police officers after a tense 20-hour standoff at his barricaded rural property in Adare, east of Toowoomba on Tuesday

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/family-of-cop-killer-rick-maddison-releases-statement/news-story/e1ae7a9b158a010b27b269a2121a3cef

Constable grew up to passionately follow in his father’s policing footsteps

AN OLD police hat will be placed in Senior Constable Brett Forte’s hands when he is laid to rest in the coming days.

It was the hat his father Stuart wore during his more than 42 years with Queensland Police.

More than a decade ago – soon after Brett had married the love of his life and fellow officer Susan – the respected Toowoomba officer had found the hat sitting in the laundry of his father’s home.

He claimed it and wore it as his own until his final day on Monday when he was shot and killed by a cop-fearing gunman.

The hat is a symbol of the Forte family’s affinity for ­policing, Stuart told The Courier-Mail yesterday.

A treasured possession that will forever remind him of the boy who would sneak out of home to turn on his old man’s police radio.

The boy who would grow up to passionately follow in his father’s policing footsteps – like Stuart had done himself years earlier.

“He’s just a hero,” Stuart said. “He was a great bloke and he needs to be remembered,” he said.

Brett – known for his ­humour at home and at work – wasn’t afraid to do the hard yards and he rose through the ranks by doing his time in the regions around Brisbane.

Brett Forte with wife Susan on their wedding day.<br />

Brett Forte with wife Susan on their wedding day.

Brett's children: Step-daughter Emma with Brodie and Samuel.<br />

Brett’s children: Step-daughter Emma with Brodie and Samuel.

His career had him sent to Cunnamulla, west of Brisbane, before going to Toowoomba, then Caboolture and settling down in Toowoomba again.

Brett leaves behind two sons, Brodie, 9, and Samuel, 3, and stepdaughter Emma, 16.

Similarly, Brett grew up in a family of three, but it wasn’t until early adulthood that he informed his father of his ­desire to join the force.

While Stuart’s father had some reservations about his own son joining the force around 1970, Stuart himself was never reluctant to see his son sign up.

“(Brett) was always that way (passionate about policing),” he said.

“I wouldn’t say he was gungho, but he wanted to get in there and do the job and do the job right.

 

 

Brett's father Stuart Forte: “He was a great bloke and he needs to be remembered.” Picture: Liam Kidston<br />

Brett’s father Stuart Forte: “He was a great bloke and he needs to be remembered.” Picture: Liam Kidston

“I’ve been told that he was the guy who had the knowledge of the guidelines and how you’re supposed to do things.

“If anyone wanted any ­advice, he’d tell them that you do it this way.

“He knew what he was doing and he was very smart in that area.”

Brett’s heartbroken stepdaughter Emma Morris ­yesterday laid flowers outside Toowoomba Police Station in memory of her father figure.

Brett’s son Samuel, 3, is comforted at the Toowoomba police station memorial. Picture: 7 News Queensland<br />

Brett’s son Samuel, 3, is comforted at the Toowoomba police station memorial. Picture: 7 News Queensland

She echoed her grandfather’s sentiments, calling Brett a hero.

But Emma wept at the thought of her brothers growing up without the guidance she had received from him.

“Brett was just a true hero to everybody he knew … a true family man that would put his life on the line for anybody,” she said.

Slain police officer Brett Forte's step-daughter Emma, 16, placed flowers and read cards with a friend at the Southern District Headquarters Memorial, Toowoomba. Picture: Liam Kidston<br />

Slain police officer Brett Forte’s step-daughter Emma, 16, placed flowers and read cards with a friend at the Southern District Headquarters Memorial, Toowoomba. Picture: Liam Kidston

“Especially because I have younger siblings and they’re never going to remember him.”

Brett is expected to be laid to rest in coming days with his faded police hat.

But Stuart expects his son’s legacy to live forever within Queensland police ranks.

It remains to be seen whether Brodie and Samuel will follow in their father’s footsteps and continue the family tradition.

One thing Stuart will ensure is that they will grow up knowing their dad was a hero.

Arrangements for Brett’s funeral are still being discussed by his family, who gathered at the home he and Susan shared at Highlands, a suburb of Toowoomba, yesterday. The funeral will be held in Toowoomba next Wednesday in Toowoomba but the location of the ceremony is yet to be determined.

While some in the Forte family have expressed anger towards the slain officer’s killer, Stuart says he has no ill will.

“I don’t hate anybody,” he said. “Funnily enough I thought I would, but there’s no hatred there.”

A tribute outside police Regional Headquarters in Toowoomba. Picture: Liam Kidston<br />

A tribute outside police Regional Headquarters in Toowoomba. Picture: Liam Kidston

Such a waste…………………both to Brett’s personal family and friends and his Police Family.  Why such a good soul has to be taken from this world, is beyond comprehension!! Cherryl
You’re a hero of the thin blue line. May you now rest in peace brother. Fred
No words can be said other than THANK YOU and you will be missed. noel

EXCLUSIVE: Harrowing video shows the frantic moment police race to save the life of a fellow officer and married father-of-two ‘shot dead by a wanted man armed with a machine gun’

  • Video has emerged of the moment police tried to save an injured officer’s life
  • Snr Const Brett Forte was shot and killed in the Lockyer Valley, west of Brisbane 
  • Mr Forte was shot by a wanted man during the incident west of Brisbane 
  • Harrowing footage shows police frantically performing CPR on Snr Const Forte 
  • Local residents have reported hearing ‘non-stop automatic machine gunfire’
  • The gunman is believed to currently be holed up in a rural farmhouse nearby

Harrowing video has emerged of the frantic moment police officers bravely tried to save the life of a hero Queensland senior constable who was shot dead allegedly by a wanted man on Monday.

Daily Mail Australia has obtained video from a Lockyer Valley resident who watched with her heart in her mouth as cops worked frantically to save the life of a married father-of-two.

A known offender, Rick Charles Maddison, 41, allegedly shot Senior Constable Brett Forte at about 1.40pm during a police chase in the regional area near Toowoomba, an hour west of Brisbane.

‘A hero lost his life today,’ state police minister Mark Ryan said in a statement.

In the video, filmed on a mobile phone from the window of a nearby home, officers sprint up the road, sirens wail and police can be seen performing CPR on Snr Const Forte. 

WARNING *******UPSETTING AUDIO IN THIS CLIP *****  PTSD TRIGGERS

‘Jesus Christ!’ the woman could be heard exclaiming.

Police later bellowed for her to step away from the windows due to the active shooter, sources said.

Maddison, who was believed to be armed with a machine gun, abruptly stopped and got out of his car during the chase involving two police vehicles and four officers and allegedly shot Snr Const Forte.

Maddison, from Toowoomba, then drove down a dirt road at Seventeen Mile, just northwest of Gatton.

A police vehicle is towed from the scene where Snr Const Forte was killed on Monday afternoon

A police vehicle is towed from the scene where Snr Const Forte was killed on Monday afternoon

It was understood the police vehicle Snr Const Forte had been travelling in rolled over after the chase resumed and Maddison also allegedly fired at a police helicopter while fleeing into bushland before entering a farm house.

The husband of the woman who filmed the video told Daily Mail Australia she was frightened and ‘freaking out a bit’ after gunfire rang out through the area.

Police officers would later carry the wounded officer off the paddy wagon onto her front lawn and ‘keep him alive’, he said.

Several locals were forced to watch helplessly behind a barricade for hours while their wives were stuck in their homes behind police lines.

Truck driver Peter Hills had been stuck outside on Adare Road for six hours when he spoke to Daily Mail Australia.

Mr Hills, who drives fresh produce for a living, said his wife called him on Monday afternoon asked: ‘Do you know if they’re shooting a movie or something?’

His partner witnessed streams of police cars, including black specialist vehicles and detective vehicles zooming down her street and then changing direction.

‘There’s a black paddy wagon, there’s another police car, now there’s an unmarked D-car… and then there was a little bit more – and then more went!’ he recounted her telling him.

‘And then all of a sudden they’ve all gone back the other way.’

Fatally wounded as he pursued the offender through the Lockyer Valley Region, Snr Const Forte was remembered as a hero by the Queensland police minister.

‘My thoughts are with the family, friends and colleagues of the Queensland Police Service officer who was tragically killed this afternoon while doing his job selflessly serving the people of Queensland,’ Mr Ryan said.

‘Along with millions of Queenslanders, I pay tribute to his service. He will never be forgotten. With honour, he served.’

TIMELINE OF EVENTS

– Tactical response officers travelling in two police cars tried to pull over a vehicle on Wellers Road, Seventeen Mile, in Queensland’s Lockyer Valley about 1.40pm on Monday

–  Rick Charles Maddison, who was believed to be armed with a machine gun, got out of his car and allegedly opened fire on the police vehicles

– Senior Constable Brett Forte was shot

– Maddison then drove down a dirt road and it was understood one of the police vehicles rolled over after the chase resumed

– Maddison also allegedly fired at a police helicopter while fleeing into a farm house

– Snr Constable Forte was airlifted to Brisbane Hospital but was confirmed to have died by 4pm

 – Police announce an emergency declaration has been declared under the provisions of the Public Safety Preservation Act and an exclusion zone has been put in place

– A manhunt begins for Maddison who is believed to be holed up in the farm house

Police are now negotiating with Maddison who is holed up in a farm house inside a locked-down area.

‘We have a person contained and at my last advice we were negotiating with that person,’ Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said at a press conference on Monday night.

Police had warned locals to stay indoors while negotiations were underway.

Local resident Kyal Pennell, 23, who was trapped in his home due to the exclusion zone, said he could hear ‘non-stop bursts of automatic gunfire’ and police sirens. 

‘Every five minutes there’s gunfire. There’s been handgun shots, machine gun shots, and shotgun shots from what I can tell,’ he told Daily Mail Australia on Monday afternoon.

At 4.30pm, Mr Pennell said police holding semi-machine guns arrived at the front gate of his home to evacuate him and his neighbours from the area. Gunshot bursts were still echoing through the valley.  

‘As far as I know, a couple of guys broke out of a jail and they’ve shot a police officer on the front lawn,’ one man told 9 News.

I had to go pick up the kids because the wife couldn’t get out, I was at work.’

Snr Const Forte was airlifted to Brisbane Hospital but was confirmed to have died by 4pm.

He had served in the force for 15 years and was a member of Toowoomba’s Tactical Crime Squad.

His wife, Susan, is also a police officer.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said in a statement her thoughts and prayers were with Snr Const Forte’s family and friends.

‘Every day, the brave officers of the Queensland Police Service put their lives on the line when they go to work,’ Ms Palaszczuk said.

‘Each of us should be immensely grateful for the work they do.’

In a tragic coincidence, Snr Const Forte’s death comes on the anniversary of slain Gold Coast detective Damian Leeding‘s shooting after he responded to an armed robbery at the Pacific Pines Tavern in 2011.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4552100/Queensland-police-race-save-life-shot-officer.html

Heartbreaking attempt to save ‘hero’ cop caught on camera

A DESPERATE attempt to save a dying policeman shot by a gunman in Queensland has been caught on camera.

Senior Constable Brett Forte, a father of two, was shot in Queensland’s Lockyer Valley on Monday afternoon when a man got out of his vehicle and opened fire on a number of police cars with an automatic weapon.

Now, new video has emerged of fellow officers attempting to resuscitate Snr Const Forte after the shooting.

Police officers try to save the life of their shot colleague Brett Forte. Picture: Daily MailSource:Supplied

Police officers try to save the life of their shot colleague Brett Forte. Picture: Daily MailSource: Supplied

 

The heartbreaking footage, obtained by the Daily Mail, shows cops performing mouth-to-mouth and heart massage in a ditch beside a police car.

When officers notice the woman shooting the video, they yell at her to “get inside” and “get away from the window” because the shooter was still at large.

Queensland Police confirmed that Snr Const Forte had died in a statement on Monday night.

“A hero lost his life today,” Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan said.

Officers try to revive Brett Forte. Source: Supplied

Officers try to revive Brett Forte. Source: Supplied

 

The gunman, who The Courier-Mail identified as “career criminal” Rick Maddison, is in a stand-off with police in an area near Gatton in southeast Queensland.

The incident began about 2pm when police attempted to stop a vehicle being driven by a “person of interest” on Wellers Rd at Seventeen Mile, near Toowoomba.

Snr Const Forte’s fellow officers were able to move him away and extract themselves from the scene.

Police are in negotiations with the gunman, who fled the vehicle into nearby bushland.

While neighbours reported hearing what sounded like machine-gun fire, police did not confirm details about the weapon.

Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart described the situation as an “active scene” and said the gunman was considered to be “at large”.

“Obviously we want to resolve this situation as peacefully as humanly possible,” he said.

Officers from the Special Emergency Response Team have arrived at the scene and a huge area has been locked down around Seventeen Mile, 115km west of Brisbane.

Gatton resident Kyal Pennell told news.com.au that he heard the first shots, which sounded like machine-gun fire, about 2.30pm and then a police siren for about 15 minutes.

“Then there was basically gunfire every 10 to 15 minutes from about 2.45pm through to 4.30pm,” he said.

“It was pretty scary, I wasn’t sure what to think, I wasn’t sure what was going on and I couldn’t see anything. I was only hoping it wasn’t getting any closer.”

Mr Pennell said he was eventually evacuated about 5.30pm and was now staying at a hotel with his family as police continued to hunt for the shooter.

Snr Const Forte was part of Toowoomba’s Tactical Crime Squad and worked with Queensland Police for about 15 years.

“My thoughts are with the family, friends and colleagues … along with millions of Queenslanders, I pay tribute to his service,” Mr Ryan said in his tribute.

“He will never be forgotten.

“With honour, he served.”

There were also unconfirmed reports shots were fired at a police helicopter, which was forced to land for its own safety.

https://youtu.be/XiNqAUi6GMQ

 

 

 

 

Police have urged nearby residents to remain inside as they try to locate the gunman.

A Queensland Ambulance Service spokesman earlier confirmed paramedics had been called to the scene to treat two people, one with critical injuries, however only one was transported to hospital.

One person was taken to nearby Toowoomba Hospital with shortness of breath.

 

An exclusion zone in place for the area of Fords Rd, Forestry Rd West, Sandy Creek Rd, Gerard Lane, 17 Mile, Wallers Rd and Forest Rd.

An exclusion zone in place for the area of Fords Rd, Forestry Rd West, Sandy Creek Rd, Gerard Lane, 17 Mile, Wallers Rd and Forest Rd.

 

http://www.news.com.au/national/queensland/crime/cop-shot-in-regional-queensland/news-story/0b523c3fda652de3154dd6127ecc0885

 

 

 

Senior Constable Brett Forte had been pursuing the wanted violent offender when he opened fire at a patrol car.

Shortly after the officer was killed, police engaged in a shoot-out with the fugitive as residents reported hearing a volley of gunshots.

Pictured: Cop shot dead as he tried to escape crashed police car. Source: 7 News

Pictured: Cop shot dead as he tried to escape crashed police car. Source: 7 News

On a country road in the rural Locker Valley is where a police pursuit came to a bloody and abrupt end.

Some residents have recorded the moment a gunman opened fire on police with a semi-automatic weapon.

It’s understood Senior Constable Brett Forte and his partner had pulled over wanted man Rick Maddison on Waller Street just after 2pm on Monday when the fugitive began shooting their patrol car.

It’s believed it rolled down an embankment during the gunfire.

The Toowoomba tactical crime officer was critically injured.

Details aren’t clear but it’s understood police had tried to return fire.

Those nearby attempted CPR however his injuries were too severe.

Police say the shooter then fled in a vehicle and then on foot.

An exclusion zone was set up across several hectares streets locked down and residents told to stay inside.

“I looked out the window, couldn’t see nothing but I could hear sirens then all of a sudden like 6 or 7 short bursts of a machine gun,” Kyal Pennell a neighbour told 7 News.

PolAir assisted from above until Maddison opened fire on the police helicopter.

 

“I haven’t heard police fire for about 25 minutes, half an hour, but the machine gun every five or then minutes he’s letting off like quick bursts,” Pennell continued.

It’s understood the man was wanted over a series of serious crimes – including torture.

He was being pursued at the time by Senior Constable Brett Forte, a married father of two and the son of a highly regarded retired police officer.

The tragedy comes on the anniversary of the shootings of detective senior constable Damien Leading and former deputy Commissioner Ross Barnett.

Queensland Police have requested locals avoid Wallers, Forestry, Ringwood, and Fords Rds near Seventeen Mile.

https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/35683499/police-officer-shot-dead-in-queenslands-lockyer-valley/#page1

Bravery awards for police who tried to save fellow officer’s life

Brisbane Times on 28 March 2018, 6:30pm

When thousands of mourners had filed away, as slain Queensland policeman Brett Forte’s family stood by his grave for a private service, a woman approached them.

“Brett saved my life,” she said.

Thousands of mourners farewelled slain police officer Senior Constable Brett Forte at his funeral in Toowoomba.
Thousands of mourners farewelled slain police officer Senior Constable Brett Forte at his funeral in Toowoomba.

Photo: Supplied

It’s one of many memories that make Stuart Forte proud as he struggles to come to terms with the killing that tore his family apart 10 months ago to the day.

When Senior Constable Brett Forte is posthumously awarded a Commendation for Brave Conduct on Thursday, it will be “lovely”, a fitting recognition of his sacrifice.

But it won’t stop Stuart Forte breaking down when he tries to pick out a photo to go up on the wall from his son’s wedding to still-distraught fellow officer Susan, a tribute that’s been a work-in-progress for months.

When Brett’s policing partner Senior Constable Cath Nielsen, along with Senior Constable Stephen Barlow, Acting Sergeant Scott Hill and Constable Brittany Poulton, are bestowed with Bravery Medals for trying to save his life, the 67-year-old won’t find it easy to express his thanks for what they did.
Brett Forte's wife Susan and daughter Emma at his funeral in Toowoomba last June.
Brett Forte’s wife Susan and daughter Emma at his funeral in Toowoomba last June.

Photo: Dan Peled/AAP

Those four officers risked their lives deep in the Lockyer Valley, west of Brisbane, on the afternoon of May 29, as a cop killer sprayed them with bullets from an automatic rifle.

On Thursday, they will be among 34 Bravery Medal recipients to be honoured in this year’s Australian Bravery Awards, a federal tradition dating back to 1975.

“It’s hard to answer because we still feel the tragedy of it,” former cop Stuart Forte said.

“It’s had a huge impact on the family and everything and it’s lovely to hear when these things are going to happen and everything.

“Because it’s a recognition of the sacrifice that he made and what sort of person he was and the heroic things that went on by the other officers there trying to save him.”

On May 29 last year, Gatton officer Senior Constable Barlow heard the message over the radio that officers Forte and Nielsen had spotted wanted criminal Ricky Maddison’s ute and begun following him.

Immediately after the shooting, police believed Maddison had deliberately lured the officers back to “his territory”, after calling from a telephone box in Toowoomba and challenging officers to find him.

The repeat offender had been convicted of assault and charged with torture at one point and had a “grievance” with the Toowoomba Tactical Crime Squad, according to police.

By the time Maddison had driven down the hill from Toowoomba, the crew from Gatton and another from Helidon had joined in.

He avoided road spikes before driving off the edge of the highway, eventually ending up on Wallers Road, where he seemed to lie in wait for the first car to come over the hill.

Senior Constable Barlow heard the shots first, before the Helidon crew started reversing back over the rise and Senior Constable Nielsen shouted for help over the radio.

Confronted with such a heavily armed offender, Senior Constables Hill and Barlow and Constable Poulton knew their cars would be too large a target, so ran along a driveway up to the scrub and down the hill to rescue their colleagues.

“It was daunting,” Senior Constable Barlow said.

“At first when we got out of the car, our training kicked in.

“ … When we got to the actual scene, the police vehicle was on its side. The siren was blaring out.

“It was quite overwhelming but, as I say, we knew what we had to do.”

All the while Senior Constable Nielsen was firing back at Maddison with nothing but her police service handgun.

When the other three arrived, Constable Poulton laid down cover fire as officers Nielsen and Barlow kicked in the window to rescue their dying colleague.

Despite the gunfire, Senior Constable Barlow started first aid, before Constable Poulton raced away from the area in a squad car with Senior Constable Forte on board, according to the bravery citation.

“We didn’t know where he was but we could certainly hear machinegun fire,” Senior Constable Barlow said.

“We didn’t know whether he had us in his sights or what he was doing.”

Realising they were outgunned, officers Barlow, Nielsen and Hill retreated once the car was safely away.

Ten months on, the extended Forte family will gather in Narangba for Easter, where Stuart promises there will be a massive Easter egg hunt as Brett loved it last year.

The 2018 awards will also recognise with the Star of Courage slain Lindt Cafe manager Tori Johnson for his role in calming the gunman in the December 2014 Sydney siege, and NSW man Antonio Rokov, who died saving the life of a 14-year-old boy in a skydiving accident.

Also in Queensland, 65-year-old Norman Olsen will be posthumously awarded a Bravery Medal for freeing a woman from her partner’s assault in Toowoomba, on February 22, 2016.

The woman was able to run from the scene, but Mr Olsen was punched in the head and fell backwards, fatally striking his head on the footpath.

Several other Queenslanders, both in and out of the emergency services, will be recognised with a Commendation for Brave Conduct.

https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/bravery-awards-for-police-who-tried-to-save-fellow-officer-s-life-20180328-p4z6rg.html