The mother of one of the fallen police officers killed during a horror ambush in remote southeast QLD has shared a brief but touching tribute online.
Constable Rachel McCrow, 29, and Constable Matthew Arnold, 26, were fatally shot at a property in Wieambilla, about three hours west of Brisbane, on Monday afternoon as they carried out a missing persons call
Matthew’s mother, Sue Arnold, posted a short tribute online to her young son.
“Rest In Peace, my beautiful boy,” she wrote.
Constable Matthew Arnold, 26, was one of two Queensland police officers murdered in cold blood during an ambush on a property in Wieambilla on the Darling Downs. Picture: Supplied.Constable Rachel McCrow, 29, was one of two Queensland police officers murdered in cold blood during an ambush on a property in Wieambilla on the Darling Downs yesterday. Picture: Supplied
The two officers were brutally executed by the two brothers who stood over them and shot them again at close range – even as Constable McCrow pleaded for her life.
Neighbour Alan Dare was also shot and killed in the attack, which sparked a massive manhunt for the offenders – Nathaniel and Gareth Train, and the latter’s wife Stacey.
Two other brave police officers, Constable Keeley Brough and Constable Randall Kirk, both 28, narrowly survived the attack, with Constable Brough becoming trapped in burning bushland as the assailants tried to smoke her out.
Constable Keely Brough escaped into bushland when the shooting started. Picture: Supplied.Constable Randall Kirk was shot in the leg and managed to seek cover in the cop car. Picture: Peta McEachern
Tactical officers later arrived – only for the three Trains to commit a final, disgusting act.
Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers told NCA NewsWire that a team of 16 special forces officers were shot at as they tried to retrieve the bodies and rescue Constable Brough.
“What I do know, is that after (the ambush), as the 16 went to retrieve Matt and Rachel, that they were fired at continuously,” he said.
Alan Dare rushed to check on his neighbours when he saw a fire break out. Picture: Supplied
“They put their lives on the line to try to retrieve their colleagues in the hope they would be able to render first aid and save their lives but sadly that didn’t happen.
“It just brings a tear to the eye … it was a despicable act by this murdering, evil trio of people who were out here to cause harm,” he added.
The road leading into Wains Rd at Wieambilla where the shooting took place. Picture: David Clark NCA/NewsWireIt was a sombre scene for police. Picture: David Clark NCA/NewsWire
The exchange of gunfire between the Trains and the special forces officers was caught on police radio.
“We believe POI 2 may be discharging rounds. Shots fired,” a male officer says over the radio.
“It appears POI 2 is attempting to reload. POI 1 potentially taken a round here. POI 1 no movement. No movement from number 2 and appears to be blood on the ground,” he adds.
The property owned by Gareth and Stacey Train where the shooting took place. Picture: Supplied
Mr Leavers said constables Arnold and McCrow were “executed in cold blood”.
He added that all officers involved in the horrible scenes on the Darling Downs on Tuesday night are “heroes’’, including Mr Dare.
“Keely and Randall are heroes, and the police led by one of the local sergeants who led the team in to retrieve Matt and Rachel while under gun fire, they’re heroes,” he said.
“They’ve really stepped up, they haven’t thought about their safety, they just thought about their colleagues.”