Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese pays tribute to two police officers, Constable Rachel McCrow, 29, and Constable Matthew Arnold, 26, who were shot and killed in Queensland.
Prime Minister Albanese called it a “heartbreaking day” for the families and friends of police officers who lost their lives. Taking to his official Twitter handle, he offered condolences to the people who lost their loved ones.
PM Albanese tweeted, “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 Australian National Flag will also be flown at half-mast all day today in Queensland only for the two Queensland Police Service officers who lost their lives in the line of duty.
On Monday night, Constable Rachel McCrow and Constable Matthew Arnold were shot and killed, and two other officers were injured after they were ambushed by offenders at a remote property in Wieambilla, in Queensland’s Western Downs.
The police officers were at the address at the request of New South Wales Police to conduct a missing person inquiry.
Queensland police said that Constable Matthew Arnold and Constable Rachel McCrow were shot dead “in the line of duty” at Wieambilla. Four police officers were initially shot at while visiting the property at Wieambilla to investigate reports of a missing person.
The missing person’s report involved a former school principal Nathaniel Train who was last seen in Dubbo in December last year.
Nathaniel Train and his brother were among the people who died. A woman was also killed in the shoot-out with police. Matthew Arnold and Constable Rachel McCrow died at the spot while a neighbour was also killed, according to police.
Constable Randall Kirk suffered a bullet graze and was taken to hospital for treatment. Furthermore, Constable Keeley Brough managed to escape. Police at around 2 am (local time) said that two more men and a woman were killed in a confrontation with officers shortly after 10:30 pm.
According to police, there was a siege and specialist officers were involved.
Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said that the officers “did not stand a chance” and “the fact that two got alive is a miracle.” She stressed that an investigation will be carried out into the shooting.
Meanwhile, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said, “This is indeed a heartbreaking tragedy. And on the behalf of people of Queensland, I offer my deep condolences to the families and loved ones of those two young constables who were tragically killed.”
Since 2010, five police have died as the result of actions of armed offenders in Australia, of these four involved firearms and one a knife.