The Queensland Police have just released dramatic CCTV footage of last year’s armed siege of Queens Street Mall that saw Brisbane put into lockdown.
Thousands of shoppers were evacuated from Queens Street Mall last year when Lee Matthew Hillier entered the precinct with a gun and began a 90-minute stand-off with police.
New CCTV footage released by the Queensland Police today depicts Hillier being shot down after the siege and SERT officers closing in on him.
Police said Hillier had been pacing up and down the mall, was seen “frothing” from the mouth, and asked police to shoot him. After Hillier wielded the gun, a police officer fired two rounds from a semi-automatic rifle.
Hillier’s Barrister, Simon Hyland-Harris, said he sustained disabling injuries to his left hand, wrist and shoulder from the shots.
Queen Street Mall was evacuated, government buildings in Brisbane went into lockdown and 300 buses were delayed due to the events on 8 March 2013.
Hillier pleaded guilty to the charges, including assaulting police while armed. He told Judge Terry Martin QC at Brisbane District Court that he never intended to harm shoppers.
“I wasn’t there to harm anybody, but to stand there with an empty handgun and to have 30 police standing there with revolvers fronting you is very confronting, you know?” said Hillier. “I am standing here taking responsibility for my own actions and I am glad to be alive and to be here for my three beautiful children.”
Judge Martin said to Hillier that he was alive due to the professionalism and courage of the police involved – and despite Hillier’s pistol being unloaded he was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in jail.
Hillier had been living on the streets prior to the siege and had a previous criminal history stemming from drug addiction and disadvantaged circumstances.
He has served 323 days in custody on remand for the offences, and will be eligible for parole release on 8 September 2014.