The Sunday Mail (Queensland)
‘I don’t want anyone to live with what we’ve lived with’
LUKE Forte still picks up the phone to call big brother Brett four years after the police officer was killed by a crazed gunman outside Toowoomba.
The slain Senior Constable’s youngest sibling says he sometimes forgets the best mate he used to share a joke with is no longer here.
“It’s really hard to explain, but because we didn’t live in the same place, I was used to him coming and back and forth, so you kind of forget that he’s passed on some days,” Luke told The Sunday Mail from his home outside Brisbane.
“I went to ring him, it was about six months ago, just not thinking. Then I’ll walk out and see the pictures on the wall and the memories just come back and it’s a kick in the guts.”
The 42-year-old (pictured with Brett) is four years Brett’s junior and says he always wanted to be just like him.
“My brother was more than just a brother to me, he was a real strong guide in my life. When it is one of your family members, you never want to put that ‘M word’ – murder – in front of them. It is a really bold, strong word. I can’t even explain what that is like,” Luke said.
The night he found out Brett had been killed on duty, Luke “went into protective mode” because he thought that’s what his older brother would have wanted.
“At the start I was completely in shock. I just went into a box in my head,” he remembered. “I don’t think it was until I started picking a coffin that I was like, shit, I am picking a coffin for my brother. That’s when it hit me.”
Luke remembers the massive state-funded funeral with cars lining the streets.
Officers standing in the cold. Politicians wearing red.
“It was a truly amazing send-off,” he said. “But to come back home and see articles with ‘murder’ or ‘slain police officer’ and to be able to watch the funeral again on YouTube ... You really do go down that dark rabbit hole. It’s just horrendous. I can’t even explain how hard it is ... I don’t want anyone to live with what we’ve lived with.”