Senior Constable David Rixon spent his life protecting others
A POLICE officer and father of six shot dead in northern NSW spent more than half his life protecting the community.
Senior Constable David Rixon, 40, was on duty and alone when he and another man were shot during a gunfight outside a block of units in West Tamworth about 8am yesterday.
Paramedics and police raced to the scene before both men were rushed to Tamworth Base Hospital, where Sen Const Rixon later died.
The highway patrol officer, who joined the NSW Police Force in 1990, is survived by his wife Fiona and six children.
His family paid tribute to him in a statement yesterday.
"David was a wonderful father, husband and police officer. He was all of that, but so much more. He was a real person and a great man who will be missed by us all."
A former police officer who asked not to be named said Sen Const Rixon was a "tremendous bloke who was very much a family man".
Shirley Tiberi, who has lived in Lorraine St for 53 years and has never experienced any problems, now wants to move.
"I heard three big bangs and I didn't realise that the police officer was shot," Ms Tiberi said.
It is understood Sen Const Rixon had pulled a car over in the street when the shooting started.
Two men have been arrested, including one who was shot and is under police guard in hospital.
"We have lost one of our finest highway patrol officers," Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said.
NSW Police Minister Michael Gallacher, a former police officer, was visibly shaken.
"This is an incredibly tragic event for his loved ones, for his workmates, and indeed for the state of NSW," Mr Gallacher said in Sydney.
Tamworth Mayor Col Murray said the death highlighted the fact that local police numbers had been inadequate for years.
"This is what we've been fearful of, that ... we actually lose one of our community members, as a policeman, in a shooting," Mr Murray said.
RIP Senior Constable David Rixon. You are a hero.
I thought Australia has gun control laws? How does a person gun down a cop in NSW? There are laws to prevent this aren't there?