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

Inquest after 'family man' shot in police stand-off

A DISTRESSED retired accountant allegedly begged police to shoot him with a rifle, a coroner has been told.

Freestone man Russell Winks, 65, was shot dead on his rural property on November 17, 2016.

A Toowoomba inquest this December will examine what happened when police encountered the Southern Downs "family man”.

A pre-inquest conference at Brisbane on Tuesday heard Mr Winks was despondent after a stressful court case and various health issues.

Sarah Lane, counsel assisting the coroner, said Mr Winks's wife found him loading a .22 calibre rifle that November day.

Ms Lane told Coroner Terry Ryan that Mrs Winks then heard five shots and phoned 000.

Police responded and found Mr Winks still alive and "yelling at police officers to shoot him,” Ms Lane said.

Mr Ryan heard an agitated Mr Winks demanded police use a rifle and not a pistol to shoot him.

A stand-off ensued. At one point, police spoke to Mr Winks for more than four minutes, the coroner heard.

"Several times he pointed his rifle directly towards police.”

Ms Lane said police will testify that one officer repeatedly asked Mr Winks to put the rifle down.

One officer allegedly considered tasering Mr Winks, but decided he was too far away.

Ms Lane said "quite suddenly Mr Winks stopped pacing and looked directly” at a senior constable, raising his gun and aiming at him.

Mr Ryan was told two police officers fired at Mr Winks.

An ambulance was called but Mr Winks did not survive.

Ms Lane said loved ones described Mr Winks as "a much-loved family man”.

"Mr Winks is greatly missed,” she added.

The inquest is expected to examine if police used lethal force in accordance with official policy.

It will also probably examine if a non-lethal option was available but not deployed.

The coroner may also scrutinise the police ethical standards investigation which happened after the shooting.

Finally, any possible recommendations preventing a similar death in future will be explored.

About 11 witnesses are expected at the inquest, which will likely take two to three days. -NewsRegional


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