2 policemen killed in Wieambilla, Australia by shooting

2 policemen killed in Wieambilla, Australia by shooting

2 policemen killed in Wieambilla, Australia by shooting


Two police officers have been killed in a shootout on a property in rural Australia after what initially appeared to be a normal follow-up to a missing person report turned into an ambush and lengthy siege, he said Tuesday Queensland Police.

The shooting occurred on Monday afternoon in Queensland’s Wieambilla area, about 200 miles west of Brisbane. A passerby who reportedly tried to help was also killed. Three suspected offenders, who according to police were on the property with “considerable weapons”, were subsequently shot and killed by specialized forces dispatched to the scene.

Another police officer was injured, while a fourth feared she would be burned alive, police said.

Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll told a news conference on Tuesday that many questions remain about the incident, including what motivated the suspicions and that an investigation is underway. It will likely take “days, if not weeks” to clarify what happened, she said.

Meanwhile, the incident has shaken Australia, a country whose experience with gun violence spurred it to adopt tougher gun laws in the late 1990s. Research suggests that Australia has had fewer gun deaths since those laws were passed. Shootings resulting in multiple deaths, particularly involving law enforcement, are rare.

“All Australians are shocked and saddened by this tragic loss of life,” said Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese She said Tuesday. “This is not a price anyone wearing a uniform should ever pay.”

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Police say the incident started at around 4.30pm local time, when four police officers were dispatched to a property on Wains Road in Wieambilla to follow up on a request by NSW Police to look into a missing person .

The person, identified by the Australian authorities and media as Nathaniel Train, 46, a former school principal in New South Wales, had disappeared a year earlier. He had been heard sporadically, though contact had ceased in recent days, prompting a request from NSW Police, according to Carroll.

The train was one of three people on the property, according to authorities. Australian news outlets reported the other two were Train’s brother Gareth Train, 47, and Gareth’s wife Stacey Train, 45.

When the officers arrived, they were “inundated with gunfire,” Ian Leavers, president of the Queensland Police Union, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

Two Tara Police Service officers – Matthew Arnold, 26, and Rachel McCrow, 29 – were shot and killed at the scene. A neighbor, identified by authorities as Alan Dare, 58, was also shot and killed when he approached the property-driven, according to in Albanian, “out of an instinct to help”.

The officers’ age and relative inexperience in the force – Arnold was sworn in as a police officer in March 2020, while McCrow was sworn in in June 2021 – added to what officials described as the tragic nature of events.

The other two officers on the scene – Constables Randall Kirk, 28, and Keely Brough, 28, both from the Chinchilla Police Station – survived. Kirk suffered a gunshot wound, while Brough managed to flee into the tall grass nearby, Leavers said. He told Australian media the suspects set fire to the grass to try and force Brough out into the open.

“She didn’t know if she was going to be shot or she was going to be burned alive,” Leavers said.

After the surviving officers raised the Alert, 16 officers arrived on the scene, facing heavy gunfire, to recover the bodies of their colleagues, Leavers and Carroll said. Specialist forces shot the suspects to death at around 10.30pm local time, police say, ending the siege.

Carroll described the incident as “the greatest loss of … police life we ​​have suffered in a single incident in many years,” as she held back tears on Tuesday.

“The loss of one of their own has a profound impact on every single agent and their families; losing two officers in one crash is absolutely devastating,” she said.

“In my opinion, those officers didn’t stand a chance. The fact that two made it out alive is a miracle,” she added.

Over the next few weeks, law enforcement will scour the suspects’ lives and records, looking for clues as to what may have motivated them to go on this deadly rampage.

One possible lead relates to Gareth Train’s online life: According to Guardian Australia, Train was a conspiracy theorist who believed the false claim that the 1996 Port Arthur massacre, when an Australian man killed 35 people with a rifle assault, prompting lawmakers to pass tougher gun laws, was a “false flag operation”. It’s unclear whether Train’s convictions played a role in the shooting, but Carroll said police would look into those reports.

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Australians left flowers at police stations across Queensland on Tuesday as the nation mourned the loss of two young officers whose lives and careers, Carroll said, were just getting started.

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