Russell Winks was 65.
Russell Winks was 65. Jonno Colfs

Man had begged police to shoot him, inquest hears

A MAN shot dead by police had been walking toward officers shouting at them to shoot him, a coroner's inquest in Toowoomba has heard.

Russell Winks had been depressed when he walked out of the family home on Charlie's Gully Rd, Freestone, outside Warwick on the afternoon of November 17, 2016.

His wife Joy Winks told the inquest she asked him where he was going and 65-year-old husband replied: "I'm going down to find the biggest gum tree and bash my head against it and hopefully bleed to death".

Her husband had taken a .22 rifle with him and she later heard about five shots, she said.

Senior Constable Jeremy Lambert told the inquest he received a radio call to respond to a suicide death by gunshot and arrived at the property with Constable Laura Zillman about 4.30pm.

He said they were directed by Mrs Winks to a gully where they came upon Mr Winks carrying a rifle and yelling that he wanted police to shoot him with a rifle, not with a pistol.

When other police arrived, Mr Winks approached carrying the rifle and continuing to call for police to shoot him.

When he lifted the rifle and pointed it at one of the officers, a senior constable fired his rifle with the bullet striking Mr Winks in the right chest.

The officers applied first aid but the 65-year-old died.

Mrs Winks was scathing in her assessment of police in attendance that day.

"They just went out on a hunting spree, that's my opinion," she told the hearing.

However, Detective Sergeant Jeffrey Gillam said he had conducted an Ethical Standards Investigation and had spoken to all officers concerned and found there had been no breaches of Queensland Police Service procedures for such situations.

The inquest by Coroner Terry Ryan will look into whether police use of lethal force against Mr Winks was in accordance with the Queensland Police Service "use of force" policy in the Operational Procedures Manual at the time; whether there were any "less than lethal" use of force options open to the officers which they did not take; whether the investigation by Ethical Standards Command was appropriate and sufficient; and whether there were any further recommendations which could be made which could prevent deaths from happening in similar circumstances in the future.

The inquest is expected to run for up to three days and will continue today.

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