6 people – including two police officers – have been killed in shootings in Australia

Six people, including two police officers, were killed in an hours-long standoff in a remote area of ​​Australia on Monday night.

Four officers from Tara Police Station arrived at a property in rural Wieambilla, Queensland, around 4:45 p.m. to investigate a missing person report, Queensland Police confirmed early Tuesday.

Police officers Matthew Arnold, 26, and Rachel McCrow, 29, were shot dead as they approached the address, authorities said. A third officer was injured.

The shooting gave way to a six-hour siege in which the suspects killed neighbor Alan Sure, 58, who came over to investigate the commotion, officials said.

Rachel McCrow, left, was shot dead in the ambush Monday night.
Constable Rachel McCrow, left, was shot dead in the ambush Monday night.
Queensland Police Service

The standoff ended when tactical police shot dead all three suspects, one of whom was identified as Nathaniel Train, 46, the missing person police had sent for screening.

Train, a former headmaster, was last seen in New South Wales in December 2021 but was not in contact with his family until last October.

He was killed along with his brother Gareth Train, 47, and sister-in-law Stacey Train, 45.

Constable Matthew Arnold, 26, was also killed in the siege.
Constable Matthew Arnold, 26, was also killed in the siege.
Queensland Police Service

The incident is the Queensland force’s largest fatality in several years.

“These officers didn’t stand a chance. The fact that two got out alive is a miracle,” Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Queensland Police Union President Ian Leavers described to ABC how the uninjured police officer, rookie Constable Keely Brough, bravely held out when suspects tried to lure her by setting a fire.

A memorial to the fallen officers outside Tara Police Station in Tara, Queensland.
A memorial to the fallen officers outside Tara Police Station in Tara, Queensland.
JASON O’BRIEN/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

“She didn’t know if she was going to be shot or not [if] she would be burned alive,” he said. “She sent messages to loved ones saying she had gotten to a point where she thought it was her time.”

A candlelight vigil is planned for Constables Arnold and McCrow in Brisbane.

“To know that [McCrow and Arnold] No longer with us, which was a ruthless, calculated and targeted execution of our colleagues and loved ones, brings home the very real risks we face every day in our work,” lamented Leavers.

The standoff took place on Wain's Road in rural Wieambilla.
The standoff took place on Wain’s Road in rural Wieambilla.
JASON O’BRIEN/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

“Just such a tragedy. This should never happen. It was totally unexpected.”

Investigators are now investigating Gareth Train, who frequently made paranoid posts on conspiracy blogs. According to the Guardian, he expressed his distrust of police and believed the 1996 Port Arthur massacre – the mass shooting that led to Australia’s tough gun laws – was a “false flag operation” or an event carried out covertly by a group shift the blame to someone else.

He co-owned the Wieambilla estate with his wife. In a 2021 post, he claimed to be “building an ‘ark.'[,] I’ve been preparing for the last five years to survive tomorrow.’”

Officials at the scene after the tragic showdown.
Officials at the scene after the tragic showdown.
via REUTERS

Nathaniel Train reportedly disappeared from the map after his mental health deteriorated following a heart attack.

“[We’re] definitely investigate every path – whether it [was] premeditated, some of the stuff that was online by these people,” Commissioner Carroll told ABC. “We’re going to look into what they’ve been doing, not just over the last few weeks but over the past few years.”

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese took to social media to express his condolences while the investigation is ongoing.

Locals lay flowers at the Chinchilla police station on Tuesday.
Locals lay flowers at the Chinchilla police station on Tuesday.
JASON O’BRIEN/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

“Horrible scenes at Wieambilla and a heartbreaking day for the families and friends of Queensland Police officers who lost their lives on duty.” he wrote. “My condolences to all who mourn tonight – Australia mourns with you.”

Opposition leader Peter Dutton, a former Queensland police officer, also expressed his condolences on Twitter.

“Deeply disturbing news is coming from west Queensland tonight of the murdered police officers,” the post said. “Police officers face dangers every day to stop us.”

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