Wiembilla shooting: Queensland locals live in waking nightmare after police officers die

Locals from two Queensland cities are living in a waking nightmare after two police officers and a neighbor were brutally executed in their community.

Tara and Chinchilla residents have broken their silence over the horrific ambush that occurred on Monday at a rural estate in nearby Wieambilla.

Police officers Rachel McCrow and Matthew Arnold were killed along with neighbor Alan Dare, who had lived in the area for years.

Locals said the remote town has always had “some streets you just won’t walk down,” but that the community has usually been quick to help one another.

Locals from two Queensland cities are living in a waking nightmare after two police officers and a neighbor were brutally executed in their community

Locals from two Queensland cities are living in a waking nightmare after two police officers and a neighbor were brutally executed in their community

Queensland Police Constable Matthew Arnold was killed in a shooting in Wieambilla

Queensland Police Constable Matthew Arnold was killed in a shooting in Wieambilla

But following the shooting and the tragic circumstances that left three innocent people dead, tensions are running high and many are now wondering if they would be just as inclined to help the next time a neighbor gets into trouble.

The two Tara-based officers had visited the property alongside their Chinchilla-based colleagues, Constables Keely Brough and Randall Kirk, after reports came in from NSW Police of former Headmaster Nathaniel Train missing.

The four officers were ambushed by Nathaniel, his brother Gareth and his wife Stacey.

NCA NewsWire understands the Train family lured officers to the property to cause as many injuries as possible and had every intention of killing the unsuspecting officers, all of whom were under the age of 30.

Tara resident Evelin Macaskill said she was devastated by the “senseless” killings and feared something so sinister could happen in her town.

“You don’t want someone killed just for doing their job,” she said.

The two Tara residents were tragically murdered by the Train family, who shot them as soon as the couple set foot on their property.

When officers McCrow and Arnold fell to the ground, the Train family executed them in cold blood while standing over their bodies before stealing the officers’ guns and radio.

During the chaotic scenes, Constable Brough was able to run into the scrubland, where she reportedly crawled her way to freedom, but not before hiding in the scrub for 90 minutes.

The Train family attempted to flush them out by shooting in the general area and also setting fires to smoke them out.

While Constable Brough feared for her life, she was able to text the police and also her family to tell them she loved them.

Constable Rachel McCrow, 29, was one of the two young police officers killed in the shooting. Image: Queensland Police Union

Constable Rachel McCrow, 29, was one of the two young police officers killed in the shooting. Image: Queensland Police Union

Constable Keely Brough escaped an execution ambush in which two of her colleagues were killed

Constable Keely Brough escaped an execution ambush in which two of her colleagues were killed

Meanwhile, Constable Kirk, who had been shot in the leg, managed to get back into his police car and drove away to call for help.

As he did so, the Train family continued to fire their guns at his moving vehicle, with multiple bullet holes visible in the front and rear windshields and his driver’s side window completely smashed.

Mr Dare, who lived nearby, decided to investigate after seeing black smoke billowing from the property.

His kind act of helping a neighbor was to be his last, as the Train family shot him in the back as he reportedly reached for his phone upon seeing what was unfolding.

Brigalow resident Graham Stewart said Mr Dare was the type of person who would do anything for anyone and it came as no surprise that he left to help after seeing smoke.

“He would help anyone, he was a pretty skinny guy with a few missing teeth but you don’t judge people by their looks,” Mr Stewart told NCA NewsWire.

“Alan has taught his family everything they know.

“They were soul mates of his and his wife.

“They’re classed as blockies, but there’s good and bad, but Alan was one of the good guys.”

Neighbor Alan Dare was murdered while inspecting a fire set by gunmen in Wieambilla

Neighbor Alan Dare was murdered while inspecting a fire set by gunmen in Wieambilla

Constable Randall Kirk, pictured with wife Bree, underwent surgery to remove shrapnel and repair injuries sustained during the siege

Constable Randall Kirk, pictured with wife Bree, underwent surgery to remove shrapnel and repair injuries sustained during the siege

Mr Stewart explained that people living in rural areas like Wieambilla have a bad reputation, but that hasn’t always been the case.

“Just because they live out there, they tend to get tarred with the name ‘Blockie,’ giving them a description of everyone that’s out there,” he said.

“There are places out there with large gates padlocked and signs saying ‘do not enter’.

“I know a place out there where the guy has been digging holes and he’s going in and waiting for people.

“A lot of them out there with big gates in the front because it’s in the middle of nowhere.”

Gareth Train and his wife Stacey, who worked as teachers at Tara Shire State College before quitting in 2021 for vaccination orders, reportedly bought the Wieambilla property in 2016.

They would die there along with Gareth’s brother Nathaniel after the fatal gunfight ended when SERT officers arrived to help.

A neighbor said Alan Dare, who died after examining smoke rising from the Train family property, and his wife Kerry (right). "soulmates". Image: Facebook

A neighbor said Alan Dare, who died after examining smoke rising from the Train family estate, and his wife Kerry (right) were “soul mates”. Image: Facebook

Mr Stewart said the horrifying saga made the community tremble at the thought that their neighbors could be callous and calculated enough to pull off a plot to assassinate the police.

“It’s upset a lot of us, it’s affected everyone,” Mr Stewart said.

He hasn’t been able to eat since hearing the news and has come to the chinchilla police station every day to pay his respects.

Ms Macaskill said she had always been warned about people with guns protecting their property but now she was even more vigilant.

“When we moved here, we were told not to just roam on people’s properties because they have guns,” she said.

“It’s still a bit like the old west out here and that’s one of the things I love about here, but as a parent it’s also pretty scary.

“I have kids and the fact that that could just happen is really terrifying.”

Tara resident Rachel Buckman agreed, telling NCA NewsWire she’s now considering trusting her neighbors after hearing about what happened to Mr. Dare.

“It scares me because I’m the type of person to help when I hear my neighbors are in trouble, but am I going to do that now?” She said.

“He just wanted to help, but looked what happened to him.”

Ms Macaskill said she hopes police will continue to serve their community.

Brigalow resident Graham Stewart visits the Chinchilla Police Station every day to pay his respects.

Brigalow resident Graham Stewart visits the Chinchilla Police Station every day to pay his respects.

“We don’t have the police anyway,” she said.

“I think people will take advantage of it, there are people who don’t care and just goof around.

“This is worrying because it’s going to take a long time to get here from Dalby and here from Chinchilla.

“That’s concerning and I’m not sure what they’re going to do or where to get the police from.”

But Queensland Police Union President Ian Leavers said NCA NewsWire officers in Tara and Chinchilla had full support during this difficult time.

“We’re getting support from other areas across the state. We have to staff the area and we’re getting support from other parts of Queensland for that,” he said.

“This is really important because we have to look after our police officers, some of whom are stationed here and certainly need a break, which I would suggest for their psychological well-being.

“We have to take care of them, so support comes from other areas and that’s important.”

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11548417/Wiembilla-shooting-Queensland-locals-living-waking-nightmare-following-death-cops.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Wiembilla shooting: Queensland locals live in waking nightmare after police officers die

Emma Colton

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