The family of Senior Constable Brett Forte have delivered an emotional tribute to the Queensland police officer on Wednesday in front of thousands of attendees at his funeral in Toowoomba.
In a tearful address, Forte's wife and fellow police officer Susan called him her "hero and soulmate" and thanked the Australian community and the Queensland police family for the support they have shown since his death on May 29.
"To my wonderful husband Brett, you were a fantastic husband to me and father to our children, I promise to raise our children with the values you held dear," she said.
"I will miss your inappropriate comments that always made me laugh so much, you were my hero and my soulmate and I will love you forever.
"Thank you to my police family for all the support you have provided to me over the last week and I know who will continue to support me for the years to come. Thank you to those first responders who were with Brett when he passed. It gives me great comfort to know that he was with great friends, particularly his work wife Kath, when he passed."
Forte, 41, was shot and killed in a standoff resulting from a traffic stop and police pursuit involving a gunman in the Lockyer Valley. Fugitive Rick Charles Maddison sprayed Forte's police car with machine gun fire as it reversed into another car and then flipped.
Brett's brothers Luke and Chris also read an address from their parents, Heather and Stuart, and spoke of how his family will "never get over" his passing.
"My heart breaks when I think about how you loved our family Christmas but you will always be there with us and your place at the table will be set," the statement on behalf of Heather Forte said.
"I have to tell you how much your Dad and I, your brothers, sister-in-law, nephews and nieces love you and will never get over your loss.
"Part of my heart and soul is lost. We love you so much our beautiful funny clown, until we meet again I remain your loving mum."
On behalf of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton also delivered a tribute to Forte to honour his bravery, saying his service to the Queensland Police "symbolises all that we admire and respect in our police officers".
"I was deeply shocked to hear of the death of Senior Constable Brett Forte and want to offer my sincere condolences to his family, to his friends, his colleagues and the community on this very sad day," he said.
"Brett Forte's 15 years in the Queensland Police Service (QPS) symbolises all that we admire and respect in our police officers. He served with utmost distinction and dedication and integrity, a fact attested to by the many tributes offered by his colleagues and the overwhelming support shown by the Toowoomba community.
"Brett's untimely passing has clearly touched people across our nation, from work mates and fellow officers to friends, neighbours and total strangers, reminding us keenly of the injustice of his death and the debt of gratitude we owe to his service."
Thousands of Queensland Police Service officers were in attendance at the public procession where Forte was also posthumously awarded the QPS Valour Award for his service and bravery.
A police motorcade in Forte's honour also lined the streets outside the procession at the Clive Berghofer Recreational Centre, including 50 police dogs, seven police horses, a pipes and drums band and 70 motorcycles.
— Queensland Police (@QPSmedia) June 7, 2017
The motorcade also included a Police Air fly-over as Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart, his three deputies and the Assistant Commissioner bid a final farewell to Forte with a salute.
The siege in which Forte was killed began shortly after 2pm on May 29 when police attempted to pull over Maddison -- a career criminal wanted by police on multiple domestic violence and weapons charges -- for a traffic stop. He fled in his vehicle and a police chase ensued.
Forte and three crime squad officers chased Maddison down a country road when he suddenly stopped near the town of Seventeen Mile. It is alleged Maddison then sprayed the two police cars with bullets using a semi-automatic machine gun.
Harrowing footage obtained by the Daily Mail appears to show police officers, who had managed to extricate Forte and themselves from the shooting, attempting to resuscitate the shot police officer.
The fugitive fled into nearby bushland and subsequently fired at a police helicopter before he was contained by police and negotiations began. Shortly after, Maddison attempted to flee before being shot dead by officers at the scene.
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