Queensland Police

Detective Senior Constable

Coomera Police Station

34 old

Born  17th January, 1976

Murdered – Shot on 29 May 2011

Died  1 June 2011


Tuesday, 7th June, 2011

Gold Coast Convention Centre, corner of Gold Coast Highway and TE Peters Drive, Broadbeach,  commencing at 11.00 a.m.



Damian LEEDING and his son

Policeman shot in face on Gold Coast

By Andree Withey and Russell Varley

Updated Mon 30 May 2011, 5:26am AEST

Senior Constable Damian Leeding was responding to a triple-0 call at the Pacific Pines Tavern when he was shot. (ABC TV)

A police officer is fighting for his life in hospital after being shot in the face during an armed hold-up on Queensland’s Gold Coast.

Senior Constable Damian Leeding, 34, from Coomera was responding a triple-0 call at the Pacific Pines Tavern when he was shot in the face as he approached the tavern.

Queensland Police Union (QPU) president Ian Leavers says Senior Constable Leeding was one of the first officers to arrive at the scene just before 11pm (AEST).

“Damian and a female detective were responding to alleged armed robbery in progress and upon approaching the tavern the offender has come towards Damian and he has been shot in the head,” he said.

It is understood three people armed with guns had been threatening staff and customers at the tavern.

Police say they believe up to seven people had been involved in the hold-up.

Police detained two men as they tried to run into nearby parkland and they are being questioned about the incident.

One was bitten by a police dog.

Ambulance officers assessed the man but say he did not require hospital treatment.

Police have cordoned off the area and are searching for the remaining five suspects.

Mr Leavers says Senior Constable Leeding has undergone emergency surgery in the Gold Coast hospital and is in a critical condition.

He says he has been to the hospital and spoken with the female detective who was with Senior Constable Leeding at the time of the shooting.

“This is unfortunately the unpredictable nature of police work which can occur from time to time, but it is tragic and we are hoping for a good outcome,” he said.

Queensland Police Minister Neil Roberts says the shooting highlights the risks and dangers of police work.

“We just need to let police to fully investigate the matter,” he said.

“We really do ask anyone with any bit of information – no matter how small – to please ring Crimestoppers.

“This is a very difficult time for the family and really our hearts and minds are with them at the moment.”

Mr Leavers says Senior Constable Leeding is a well respected officer with Coomera CIB.

“Damian is a married man – his wife is also a police officer and he has two very young children,” he said.

“It is a very distressing time and our prayers and thoughts are with them.

“I have spoken to the colleagues and police on the scene and all are hoping for the best possible outcome and our prayers and thoughts are with Damian and his family.”

Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson said at a press conference “the worst situation almost that you could possibly imagine for us has occurred”.

Commissioner Atkinson says officers at Coomera CIB will be given extra support.

“It’s our intention to bring in extra police from outside to help in the staffing of Coomera for the next 48 hours so that the officers at least have additional back-up there,” Commissioner Atkinson said.

“If they choose to take some time off and then we can support them in that regard.”

Commissioner Atkinson says he believes the incident will touch the wider community.

“I think there will be an outpouring of support for people who in the daily course of their duties put their own safety at risk to protect the public,” he said.



Shot policeman: ‘We’re expecting the worst’
Marissa Calligeros
May 31, 2011 – 9:26AM

The UK family of shot police officer Senior Constable Damian Leeding is rushing to reach his Gold Coast bedside as the trio charged with his attempted murder prepares to face court.

Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers joined Senior Constable Leeding‘s wife Sonya in prayer this morning at the intensive care unit of Gold Coast Hospital, where the plain clothes detective remains on life support.

Senior Constable Leeding was shot in the face at point-blank range after he leapt over a fence and came face-to-face with a bandit armed with a sawn-off shotgun at a Gold Coast pub on Sunday night.
“There is not much we can do but wait,” Mr Leavers said this morning.

“His injuries are very, very serious, as you can imagine from a gunshot injury to the head.

“We’re expecting the worst, but hoping for the best.”

Senior Constable Leeding, 35, had recently returned to duty after the birth of their three-month-old daughter Grace. Sonya, a fellow police officer, remains on maternity leave. The pair also have a two-year old son, Hudson.

Mr Leavers described Senior Constable Leeding as a “supremely fit man” and keen triathlete.

“Damian is a fighter and if anyone can pull through this it’s going to be him,” he said.

His father and sister were due to fly to the Gold Coast from the UK today.

Two men and a woman are due to face Southport Magistrates Court today charged with attempted murder, armed robbery and seven counts of deprivation of liberty.

Senior Constable Leeding responded to a triple-0 call from the Pacific Pines Tavern about 10.30pm.

Inside, two armed bandits had allegedly held hostage and tied the hands of seven people – four patrons, two staff and a security guard – and were demanding money.

Police have said the robbery was meticulously planned. Their accomplice was keeping watch and reportedly warned the pair inside that police had arrived over a walkie-talkie.

When Senior Constable Leeding leaped a fence he came face-to-face with one of the bandits and was shot in the face at point-blank range.

Senior Constable Jackson rushed to her partner’s aid and began to perform CPR as a dog squad officer arrived and pursued the alleged attackers.

Two, a man and a woman, were soon apprehended in nearby parkland. A second man was arrested yesterday morning.

Police yesterday charged the two men, aged 37 and 38, and a 37-year-old woman, all from Nerang.

Tributes have flooded social networking site Facebook for the officer who excelled to reach the rank of plain clothes detective after eights years in the force.

“Stay strong Damian. I hope that you are able to recover from this senseless act against you,” Tania Sherley wrote.

Das Pedro wrote: “Pull through champ, hearts and thoughts are with you.”

Senior Constable Leeding was stationed at Surfers Paradise police station after he graduated from the police academy in 2003 with an award for his physical fitness.

He then joined the Gold Coast Criminal Investigation Branch, before being posted to Coomera CIB when it was established 18 months ago.

His wife Sonya had worked at Runaway Bay, but is currently on maternity leave.



Funeral Details:

LEEDING, Damian Detective Senior Constable Late of Upper Coomera, formerly of Highland Park.

17th January, 1976 to 1st June, 2011. Aged 35 years

Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his Friends. “At Great Cost, With Honour We Serve”

Loving Husband of Sonya. Adored & Proud Father of Hudson and Grace. Much loved Son of Stephen and Julie. Loved Brother of Hayley and Chantelle. Much loved Son-in- law of Garry and Margaret. Greatly missed Brother-in-law to Melanie, Shane and Christie, and loved Uncle to his Nieces and Nephews.

Relatives and Friends and Colleagues of The Late Detective Senior Constable Damian Leeding, are warmly invited to attend his Funeral with full Queensland Police Honours. To be held in the Gold Coast Convention Centre, corner of Gold Coast Highway and TE Peters Drive, Broadbeach, Tuesday, 7th June, 2011 commencing at 11.00 a.m.. No flowers by request. Donations would be appreciated to the Damian Leeding Remembrance fund.



Lawyer defending one of accused in Damian Leeding trial tells jury officer’s actions ‘rash, dangerous’


A POLICEMAN who was gunned down outside a Gold Coast tavern made the “rash, ill-considered and highly-dangerous” decision to open fire on an armed robber, who reacted “in self-defence”.



POLICE MURDERER Phillip Graeme Abell after Sen-Constable Algie and Bosun tracked his scent, moving slowly through the scrub for around 300m.

Officer Damian Leeding’s family rejoices as killer Phillip Graeme Abell is sentenced to life in jail without parole

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