Plain Clothes Constable Brett T. HANDRAN

JAB, Brisbane

29 June 1989

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On 29 June 1989, Plain Clothes Constable Brett Handran and Plain Clothes Constable Steve Clarey of the Juvenile Aid Bureau, responded to a call for police assistance at a domestic disturbance at a block of units in Wynnum West, Brisbane There was a report that shots had been fired and that people were injured.

Meanwhile, in Wynnum West, a troubled man named Dolerud had stabbed his wife in an argument and then armed himself with a high powered rifle and began firing indiscriminately into the street.

Handran and Clarey arrived at the scene along with other police units. Handran exited the car first and headed over to speak to other nearby police officers. Handran had not taken more than four steps from his car, and Clarey had just alighted, when Handran was shot in the chest. He staggered over to another police car and took cover. Clarey called for an ambulance on the police radio and just before he resumed cover behind the car door, a bullet grazed his head.

Handran was still conscious when the ambulance arrived but died on the way to hospital.

Police were kept at bay for twenty minutes by Dolerud until he committed suicide at the scene. During the incident he shot and killed his two year old daughter and Constable Brett Handran, and seriously wounded four other people.

Senior Constable Norman J. WATT

Rockhamptoin District Dog Squad

21 July 2000

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At 9.22pm on Thursday 20 July 2000, officers were called to a hobby farm at Alton Downs, near Rockhampton, after reports that a serious domestic dispute was taking place.  A man named Cooper had fired 3 shots at a friend during an argument. Senior Constable Norm Watt, a member of the Rockhampton dog squad, was also called to the scene.

Officers arrived and began to put a cordon around the residence. In the dark, Cooper had exited the house and hidden himself in some bushes in the yard.   It was just after midnight when a shot was heard and Senior Constable Watt was seen to fall to the ground. He had been checking the boundary fences on the property with another officer. Fellow officers were unable to safely approach their fallen colleague because they could not see exactly where he was in the dark and did not know the whereabouts of the gunman.

An armoured vehicle from the Rockhampton Correctional Centre was used to recover Watt's body. A doctor and ambulance were at the scene and commenced treating Watt who had been shot in the groin. The bullet had severed an artery and he was pronounced dead at 3.47am on Friday 21 July.

After a seven hour siege Cooper surrendered to police. He was later charged with murder and found guilty.

Senior Sergeant Perry J. IRWIN


23 August 2003

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Around 11am on Friday 22 August, two children phoned the Caboolture Police Station saying an armed man had accosted them as they rode through bushland.  Two police cars were immediately despatched to the area where the alleged gunman had been sighted, Police were increasingly worried about his proximity to houses and schools.

Senior Sergeant Irwin, the officer in charge of Caboolture Station, and two other officers left the station to access the unfolding situation. While the officers were on route to the area, cordons were being erected and schools and houses were being evacuated. On arrival at the suspected gunman's bushland location, Senior Sergeant Irwin and his companions entered the bush on foot in an effort to find the alleged gunman.

A short time later, Senior Sergeant Irwin was ambushed and shot twice by 21 year old drug addict, Damien Coates, as he walked  to an elevated area to use his mobile phone to give a situation report to the station. Coates had been hiding behind a disused concrete pit. Senior Sergeant Irwin's fellow officers could not reach their wounded colleague because Coates continued firing on them until he committed suicide a short time later.

Senior Sergeant Perry Irwin died at the scene.

Constable Brett IRWIN

Ferny Grove

18 July 2007

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At around 10.44pm on Wednesday 18 July, Constable Brett Irwin and Constable John Edwards of the Ferny Grove Police Station attended a home in Keperra for the purpose of executing a Bail Act Warrant on Craig Anthony Semyraha.

Initially both Constables went to the front of the house where Constable Irwin knocked on the door. There was no answer however, the officers suspected that someone was inside. Constable Irwin went to the rear of the house whilst Edwards remained at the front. Constable Edwards then heard a scuffle at the rear of the house and Irwin shouting "gun". Edwards then heard a gunshot and Irwin calling "I've been shot, I've been shot'. Constable Edwards called out to Irwin but got no reply and since he had no cover he withdrew to safety and called for urgent assistance.

A negotiator arrived and successfully talked Semyraha into letting his de facto wife and two children leave the house. However then Semyraha failed to surrender and SERT entered the house. The body of Craig Semyraha was found, he had shot himself in the head and died later in hospital. The body of Constable Irwin was found in the front yard where he had managed to stumble after being shot in the chest.

Constable Brett Irwin died at the scene.

Detective Senior Constable Damien LEEDING

CIB, Coomera

1 June 2011

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Detective Senior Constable Damian Leeding and Detective Senior Constable Nicole Jackson were the first response unit to attend an armed robbery, reported as being in progress at the Pacific Pines Tavern, Pacific Pines on May 29, 2011.
It was further reported that staff and patrons were in the Tavern at the time of the robbery. The welfare and safety of the staff and patrons was unknown to Detectives Leeding and Jackson.
Detective Senior Constable Damian Leeding and Detective Senior Constable Nicole Jackson exited their Police vehicle to investigate the matter; and shortly thereafter were confronted by an armed offender resulting in the fatal shooting of Detective Senior Constable Leeding.
Damien died in hospital on June 1, three days after being shot.​

Senior Constable Brett FORTE

TCS, Toowoomba 

29 May 2017

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On the afternoon of Monday, 29 May 2017, Senior Constable Brett Forte and Senior Constable Catherine Nielsen of the Darling Downs District Tactical Crime Squad became engaged in following a dangerous wanted person driving a utility along the Warrego Highway. The vehicle was followed by Senior Constables Forte and Nielsen as it travelled off the highway to a junction in the road close to the front gate of a property. The male person stopped suddenly, quickly exited his vehicle and commenced firing an automatic weapon at the police car. Senior Constable Forte immediately commenced reversing the police vehicle at speed while under heavy fire​ and was shot twice whilst attempting to protect Senior Constable Nielsen from the barrage of gun fire. Whilst reversing, the police vehicle rolled and Senior Constable Forte passed away from his injuries, however his quick thinking, immediate response and brave actions clearly saved the life of Senior Constable Nielsen.