Three Shot Dead In Australia, Three Attackers Killed
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
CANBERRA (Worthy News) – Two police officers and a member of the public have been shot dead at a remote property in Queensland, Australia, reports say.
Three other people, believed to be the attackers, were later shot and killed by the police, according to officials.
The shootings happened after police responded to a missing person report in the rural locality of Wieambilla, 270 kilometers (168 miles) west of Brisbane, the region’s capital.
Officers Matthew Arnold, 26, and Rachel McCrow, 29, were hit and fell to the ground, where they were shot and killed by three people on the property, officials said in a statement.
A third officer, Randell Kirk, 27, who was wounded, was able to escape and call for reinforcements. A fourth officer, Keeley Brough, 28, who had joined the police force just eight weeks ago, took cover in long grass, police said.
“They lit the grass on fire to try and coax her out,” explained Ian Leavers, the president of the Queensland Police Union. “She actually believed that she was either going to be shot or she was going to be burned alive.”
Officers Brough and Kirk were hospitalized, but information on their conditions was not immediately available. A man who lived nearby, Alan Dare, 58, went to investigate the grass fire and was “shot in the back in cold blood,” Leavers added.
THREE ATTACKERS KILLED
Officials did not release the names of the people killed by the police, but Australian media reported that two of them were identified as brothers Gareth and Nathaniel Train. An unidentified woman was also among those killed, according to investigators.
Police killed them in an operation involving 16 tactical police lasting about six hours, police confirmed.
There was no final conclusion about their possible motives yet. However, alleged attacker Gareth Train, the owner of the rural Queensland property where six people were, had become deeply entangled in an online conspiracy community, police said.
He had posted about mistrust of police and claimed the Port Arthur massacre was “a false-flag operation.” Some 35 people were killed and 23 others injured in the bloodshed in the tourist town in the Australian state of Tasmania.
The worst massacre in modern Australian history, carried out by Martin Bryant on April 28, 1996, led to fundamental changes in Australia’s gun laws.
Nearly two decades later, Train allegedly expressed his frustration over the massacre in a horrific way. The Queensland police commissioner, Katarina Carroll, on Tuesday said there had been “a lot of ammunition and weaponry” at the property, at Wieambilla, and that the killed officers “did not stand a chance.”
“This event is the largest loss of police life we have suffered in a single incident in many years,” Commissioner Carroll said, adding, “It is going to take us a number of days, if not weeks, to unravel every single aspect of the scene.”