Young police officers killed in battle with gunmen in rural Australia

Rachel McCrow, 26, and Matthew Arnold, 29, photos by Queensland Police.

Young police officers were tragically killed in a battle with gunmen in rural Australia yesterday. Four officers had gone to investigate a missing person at a property in Wieambilla, Queensland when the gunmen ambushed them.

The gunmen fatally shot two officers as soon as they arrived. The battle continued, and a neighbour who came to the scene was also killed by the suspects. The remaining two police officers then shot and killed three suspects during the siege.

The two young officers killed were 26 year old Matthew Arnold and 29 year old Rachel McCrow. The neighbour killed was 58 year old Alan Dare.

The suspects killed were 46 year old Nathaniel Train, 47 year old Gareth Train, and 45 year old Stacey Train. Nathaniel was the missing person that police had been searching for at the property. Gareth was Nathaniel’s brother, and Stacey was Gareth’s wife. Gareth and Stacey co-owned the property.

Nathaniel had been the executive principal of Walgett Community College Primary School. He served in this position for 18 months until 2021 when he said he had a cardiac arrest at his desk. He then left the school.

Local media described Nathaniel as a “mild-mannered school leader.” Barron River MP Craig Crawford said he met with the former principal half a dozen times and was “completely shocked” to learn that he could commit “such an unfathomably evil act,” ABC Australia reported.

Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll did not confirm reports that the gunmen had used military-grade weaponry and camouflage gear. Caroll said that “many weapons” were involved. She called the incident an “unimaginable tragedy.”

Several officials have expressed grief and shock at the brutal killing of the young officers. Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese tweeted yesterday…

“Terrible scenes in Wieambilla and a heartbreaking day for the families and friends of the Queensland Police officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. My condolences to all who are grieving tonight – Australia mourns with you.”

The world now waits as more details emerge on the horrific incident.

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.