The Queensland Police Service has this morning confirmed the deaths of Constable Matthew Arnold, 26, and Constable Rachel McCrow, 29, during an horrific shooting incident at Wieambilla last night.
A 58-year-old man, Alan Dare, from a neighbouring property also died during the incident.
It’s believed the grandfather was “just doing the right thing” and checking on his neighbours after hearing gunshots and seeing smoke, when he was shot dead.
“Constable Keeley Brough and Constable Randall Kirk, both 28 and from Chinchilla Station, were injured and are recovering in hospital,” Queensland Police said in a short statement this morning.
“Our sincerest condolences go out to the family and friends of those involved at this tragic and difficult time.”
Western Downs Regional Council Mayor, Paul McVeigh says the shooting of two Police officers and four civilians was “devastating” for the small rural community.
Mayor McVeigh told Sky News the incident, which saw the two police officers gunned down as they attended a property in the rural town to follow up a missing persons report, shouldn’t have happened.
“Incidents like this should never happen in our region, in our state, or even in our nation,” the Mayor said.
“…We’ve lost two young officers that went to work in the morning just looking to protect our community and they’ve lost their lives in the process.”
The horrific incident unfolded after four police arrived at the property in Queensland’s Darling Downs region at 4.30pm yesterday.
“Initial information indicates the officers were shot by two armed offenders as they approached the residence on the property,” Queensland Police said in a statement.
“A member of the public was also shot and declared deceased at the location.
“Two other officers who attended were taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.”
Queensland Police specialist officers later arrived on the scene and, following negotiations with the alleged offenders, shot and killed two men and one woman at around 10.30pm.
The two men were former school principal and head teacher, Nathaniel Train, who was last week reported missing, and his brother, along with the brother’s partner.
The brother and the woman had reportedly resided at the property since 2015.
Police Commissioner, Katarina Carroll this morning paid tribute to the officers, Constable Matthew Arnold and Constable Rachel McCrow, who were tragically killed in the incident.
“I extend my heartfelt condolences to the officers’ families, friends and colleagues and our thoughts are with them during this extremely difficult time,” Commissioner Carroll said.
“I would like to pay tribute to all police and first responders who assisted at the scene and are continuing to respond this evening,” she said.
“Tragically, this is the largest loss of life the QPS has suffered in one single incident in recent times.
“It is devastating news and I know it will be deeply felt across Queensland.
“It is a sad reminder of the unpredictable nature of policing and the incredible dangers our officers face while protecting our community.”