A Queensland police officer who’ll receive a bravery award for apprehending a man on a violent rampage on the Sunshine Coast says the incident shows the pointy end of what police regularly deal with.
Senior Constable Adam Tickner knew something was up early on the morning of November 6 2014 when he was doing some routine paperwork and everyone started putting on their tactical vests.
“When I got there the guys were out the back getting dressed up, which is never a good sign,” he told AAP.
He was called in his role as a police negotiator to what was initially believed to be a siege situation at a Noosa Heads property. They instead found a woman seriously injured and the man who had assaulted her gone.
The man left the property on a motorbike, but then hijacked a Channel Seven news van at gunpoint on the Bruce Highway at Eumundi, before crashing it into 7000-litre gas tanks at a local service station.
That was the scene Snr Const Tickner and his fellow officers were confronted with when they arrived at the servo, with the man brandishing a coat covering what they believed to be a gun, and gas pouring out of the tanks from the collision.
Snr Const Tickner got the man’s attention, and kept him focused, eventually revealing he no longer had his firearm, allowing police to apprehend him.
“I needed to focus his attention towards me so I could talk to him,” he said.
“Once he knew my name and once he knew his partner wasn’t deceased, that thought of ending it left him somewhat and he was able to speak with me.
“I dropped my firearm, there was no bravery in that because I knew the other (officers) had theirs up, they did an amazing job keeping me and others safe.”
The man was arrested and taken into custody, which Snr Const Tickner says is a good result.
Just two weeks later he was in a similar situation in which he was forced to shoot a man dead.
“You go through this euphoria of being able to catch someone, to being in a similar situation and you go through a completely different ordeal.
“It’s just what we do. I wouldn’t want to do anything else. I still enjoy the job, but it’s not something I’d want to go through every day.”
Snr Const Tickner will be awarded the Bravery Medal, and is also part of the Group Bravery citation for the officers who responded to the incident that day.
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