Six dead including two young police officers in violent Australian siege
A routine missing persons investigation in Queensland quickly turned into a shocking massacre.
Two police officers killed in a shooting in Queensland, Australia "did not stand a chance" following a brutal ambush that took place on Monday, 12 December.
26-year-old Matthew Arnold and 29-year-old Rachel McCrow, both of whom joined the police force in the last two years, were shot dead at a rural property in Wieambilla on Monday night.
Six people in total were killed during the course of the incident.
Constables Arnold and McCrow were seeking information regarding missing former school principal Nathaniel Train when they were met with "a hail of gunshots". From here, a siege unfolded in which two other police officers were caught up in the violence – one suffered a graze from a bullet, while the other survived by hiding in long grass.
According to The Guardian, 58-year-old Alan Dare, a neighbour checking on the property, was shot dead during the carnage before a response team of 16 specialist officers shot and killed the three assailants carrying out the attack.
Speaking to reporters following the incident, Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll noted her shock and sorrow at the loss of Matthew Arnold and Rachel McCrow.
"To lose two officers in one incident is absolutely devastating," said a visibly emotional Carroll. "This event is the largest loss of police life we have suffered in a single incident in many years.
"Despite police efforts, the matter was unable to be resolved peacefully and all three offenders were fatally shot by specialist officers.
"The scene is quite unimaginable, it's distressing. And in my view, those officers did not stand a chance – and I don't know how two got out alive."
It is with a heavy heart we confirm the deaths of Constable Matthew Arnold and Constable Rachel McCrow.
Their lives were cut tragically short in the line of duty at Wieambilla yesterday.
With Honour They Served. pic.twitter.com/XIahH0zGUX
— Queensland Police (@QldPolice) December 12, 2022
In an official statement, Queensland Police confirmed the injuries to Constables Randall Kirk and Keely Brough, both aged 28. Both have received hospital treatment.
The three assailants shot dead have not been officially identified by police but have been listed as a 46-year-old man from Kewarra Beach, a 47-year-old man from Wieambilla, and a 45-year-old woman from Wieambilla.
Police note that they were shot at the scene at approximately 10.30pm – six hours after the four officers arrived at the property on Wains Road.
Australian news outlets including ABC News and the Sydney Morning Herald have named the shooters as aforementioned missing person Nathaniel Train and his brother Gareth, alongside Gareth's wife Stacey.
Prime Minister of Australia Anthony Albanese paid tribute to Matthew Arnold and Rachel McCrow, as well as the member of the public who lost his life and the surviving police officers.
"All Australians are shocked and saddened by this tragic loss of life," said Albanese in a public address.
"Three lives cruelly cut short. This is indeed a devastating day for everyone who loved these Australians, and our hearts go out to those in the grip of terrible grief."
With honour they served. pic.twitter.com/Bgsgp6VYma
— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) December 13, 2022