• The family of 27-year-old Gunggari man Steve Nixon held a smoking ceremony where he died in custody on 7 October. (Terry Royan)Source: Terry Royan
As investigations continue into the death of Gunggari man Steve Nixon, his family and friends gathered in suburbian Wilsonton to pay their respects.
Nadine Silva

14 Oct 2021 - 5:39 PM  UPDATED 14 Oct 2021 - 5:39 PM

The misty fog hugging Toowoomba cleared for a brief moment for a smoking ceremony at the site where Gunggari man Steve Nixon died last week.

The 27-year old passed away on October 7th after a violent struggle with police who were responding to a report about a man trying to steal a car. 

“We’re very heartbroken,” Mr Nixon’s grandmother Aunty Lynette Nixon said.

“After the incident, we knew his spirit was still here and couldn’t move on because he passed so quickly and didn’t know what happened.”

Ms Nixon, the 2018 NAIDOC Female Elder of the Year, said her grandson called her the morning he died to chat about his plans to live with her. 

“He was ready to head back home to Mitchell,” she said.

“The ceremony today was to clear his spirit and help him move on, and as you can see, he’s gone home now.”

After Mr Nixon’s family and friends paid their respects, Saravea Mitchell remembered her nephew.

“Steven was a storyteller, a self-proclaimed rapper/beatboxer who brought so much love and laughter into our lives,” she said.

“A born entertainer who would do anything, sometimes to his detriment, to please other people.”

The Queensland Police Ethical Standards Command are investigating Mr Nixon’s death with the state Coroner and Crime and Corruption Commission supervising.

An autopsy was conducted on October 8 with police saying his cause of death is "unknown at this time" and further testing will be required.

Aboriginal man dies in custody in Toowoomba
Police say the 27-year-old man became unconscious as they were attempting to arrest him and could not be revived.