Australian PM pays tribute to police officers killed in shooting

Australia: Police officers shot during incident in Queensland

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Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese paid tribute to the two young officers for their bravery and for all three victims whose “lives [were] cruelly cut short”. Four police officers were called to a remote property in Queensland after reports of a missing person in Wieambilla, 168 miles west of Brisbane.

The officers arrived at the property in connection to the disappearance of Nathaniel Train, 46, for a “routine” inquiry until the officers were ambushed on the driveway by two people.

The attackers were heavily armed and reportedly dressed in camouflage as they shot and killed Matthew Arnold, 26, and Rachel McCrow, 29.

The two other police officers in attendance survived the attack as Constable Keely Brough, 28, hid in the long grass of the farmland while Randall Kirk, 28, suffered a gunshot graze and called for help.

The Prime Minister also paid tribute to Alan Dare, a neighbour who attempted to help the officers and lost his life in the incident.

He said: “Three lives cruelly cut short. This is, indeed, a devastating day for everyone who loved these Australians. And our hearts go out to those in the grip of terrible grief.”

A local sergeant responded to Randall’s call for help and attended the scene with 15 police officers to rescue the pair and retrieve the bodies of their colleagues.

Both gunmen fled the scene with another women who is believed to be a partner, before all three were killed in a shootout with tactical officers around 10:30pm (AEST) on Monday.

On Monday afternoon, the Prime Minister said all Australians were left “shocked and saddened” by the incident.

During a press conference from Kirribilli House in Sydney on Tuesday, he said: “I pay tribute to them. I pay tribute as well to their surviving fellow officers, Constable Randall Kirk and Constable Keeley Brough.

“In addition, I pay tribute to a neighbour driven by the instinct to help, Alan Dare also lost his life in this tragedy.

“Three lives cruelly cut short. This is indeed a devastating day for everyone who loved these Australians.

“Our hearts go out to those in the grip of terrible grief.”

Those in the town of Wieambilla were praised as a “close-knit and caring Queensland community” who are all struggling with grief.

The Prime Minister added: “We know that this news has fallen hard on a close-knit and caring Queensland community.

“As well as, of course, the community to which all police officers belong. Today is rough day indeed for all police officers and their families.”

Mr Albanese recognised the sacrifices paid by all Australian police officers and thanked them for serving their communities.

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He continued: “Every officer knows the risk that they face in the life of duty. They are all too aware of the dangers that they face. Yet they do their job, they do it for our communities.

“That is courage and it is public service at the highest level and today and every day I pay tribute to each and every one of the police officers who serve their local communities and who serve their nation.

“This is not a price that anyone who puts on a uniform should ever pay. We can never count the true cost. My heart goes out to the families and loved ones of all those affected by this tragedy.

“With honour, they served, and Australia mourns with you today. We stand with you always.”

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