Rachel McCrow and Matthew Arnold: Two cops ambushed and killed during gunfight at remote property
WIEAMBILLA, QUEENSLAND: Two young police officers shot during a cold-blood siege at a property in Queensland's Western Downs have been identified. Constable Rachel McCrow, 29, and Constable Matthew Arnold, 26, were among a group of four officers who attended a property at Wieambilla, in Queensland’s Darling Downs on Monday, December 12 in the search for missing man Nathaniel Train.
The four Queensland police officers arrived at the property at around 4:40 pm when they were ambushed by three shooters — two men and a woman — wearing camouflage. The close-range shots left the two constables dead on the ground. As per Yahoo News, the gunman fired further shots into their bodies after they lost consciousness. The assailants then reportedly lit a fire to coax out a young policewoman, who took cover in the long grass. The fourth officer gratefully managed to flee from the scene with just a bullet graze. A man from a neighboring property, who has been identified as Alan Dare, was also killed in the siege.
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The siege situation ensued, with 16 specialist police officers killing the three offenders in the firefight. The three offenders are identified as Train, his brother Gareth and Gareth’s wife Stacey. Responding to the shooting, Commissioner Katarina Carroll said the two officers didn’t stand a chance to save their lives. "Despite police efforts, the matter was unable to be resolved peacefully and all three offenders were fatally shot by specialist officers," Commissioner Carroll said, before adding, "in total, six people have lost their lives."
The two surviving officers were later identified as Constable Keeley Brough and Constable Randall Kirk, both 28 and based in Chinchilla. They both are currently in the local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. “I’ve got to say, from what I have seen, they didn’t stand a chance,” Commissioner Carroll added. “The fact that two got out alive is a miracle.” When asked what she saw at the scene, Carroll said the officers had been shot at in an open area. “Look, I won’t go into too much of that, other than to say that when you are in that scene, walking towards the house and where this apparently took place, they were in an exposed area,” she said. “I would go back to say that I cannot believe that two officers got out alive,” she said.
On Tuesday morning Queensland’s premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, announced some city buildings, including Brisbane’s Story Bridge, would be lit up in blue and white to pay tribute to the dead officers. The president of the Queensland Police Union, Ian Leavers, said a fundraiser had been set up for their families. “They were both amazing people who were well respected by their colleagues and those who were close to them,” Leavers said. I spoke with Matthew’s father last night. It’s hard to know what to say. He was devastated. Our thoughts go out to Matthew’s parents and Rachel’s family as well.”
A candlelight vigil has also been organized for both constables at the Calamvale police station in Brisbane's south from 6 pm tonight. Describing her pain, Constable Arnold's mum Sue said he was about to return home for Christmas. "Matt Arnold was our beautiful boy who was due home tomorrow on break to stay with us until Christmas," she said. "Words cannot express our devastation."