QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA – According to reports, a female police officer frantically texted her family goodbye while she was being hunted down by camouflaged gunmen.
My thoughts are with our counterparts in Queensland Australia where Constables Matthew Arnold, 26 and Rachel McCrow, 29 we shot and killed after an ambush attack. My thoughts are also with the brave civilian who was killed trying to help them. You are all heroes. #HeroesInLife pic.twitter.com/Al5Imw77Ks
— Cst. Bell-Morena (@Officer_Ty) December 13, 2022
The young woman, identified as 28-year-old Keely Brough, had always dreamed of working for the Queensland’s Police Force and was sworn in just eight weeks prior to being sent out with three other same-rank colleagues to a home in Wieambilla for a missing person case.
Wieambilla is about four hours north-west of Brisbane and upon arriving to the property with 28-year-old Randall Kirk, 26-year-old Matthew Arnold, and 29-year-old Rachel McCrow, all four came under heavy fire.
Arnold and McCrow were tragically murdered in the incident, while Brough and Kirk, who suffered a gunshot graze to the leg, were forced to run for their lives.
Brough ran into nearby shrubs where she tried to hide out of view from the heavily armed gunmen who were actively trying to hunt her and the other constable. The gunmen fired right into the long grass in an attempt to “smoke her out” of her hiding place and to kill her.
It was at that moment that she chose to lay low and immediately started sending text messages to love ones, saying goodbye as she feared that she too would soon be executed. In a statement, Queensisland Police Union President Ian Leavers said:
“I do know she was sending messages to loved ones saying she almost thought it was her time. What was going through her mind, one cannot comprehend.”
The Port Authority PBA mourns with our Sisters and Brothers of the Queensland, Australia Police for Constables Rachel McCrow, 29, and Matthew Arnold, 26, who were ambushed, shot and killed Monday, December 12, 2022.#QueenslandPolice #PAPD #PAPDPROTECTSNYNJ #PAPBA #Australia pic.twitter.com/9rsN94J5K1
— Port Authority PBA (@PAPD911) December 13, 2022
Leavers initially stated that the four constables were hit by a “hail of bullets,” with Brough not knowing if she wold be shot or burnt alive. He added:
“They immediately fell to the ground and the other two colleagues … were able to retreat and take cover.”
“What I do know then, is these ruthless murderous people then went and executed the two police who were on the ground … in cold blood.”
Leavers praised Brough and Kirk for escaping and making regular communication with other officers for assistance while being hunted down by the heavily armed men. He said:
“And when she believed her life about to come to an end, she never stopped trying to do the right thing and communicate with her colleagues.”
The police union president added:
“She tried to do what she possibly could … trying to ensure we could get the support to assist their fallen colleagues at this point in time.”
A local police sergeant rallied a team of 15 police to go in under the heavy gunfire to rescue Brough and Kirk, and to retrieve the bodies of the two murdered constables. The state’s Police Commissioner Katarine Caroll, who broke down in tears, was shocked that the two constables were able to survive such a deadly incident. She said:
“To think that they survived, let alone then got out to make phone calls and call for assistances was just extraordinary.”
She praised Brough for being “an amazing young officer,” adding:
“And the people that I have spoken to cannot believe how she survived and what she did during that period of time.”
As of this writing, Both Brough and Kirk are still in the hospital for treatment to any injuries sustained during the incident.
The man at the center of the missing persons case was shot dead alongside his brother after the ambush murders of Arnold and McCrow.
The tragic murders of two @QldPolice officers in the Western Downs has sent shockwaves across the country.
— 9News Queensland (@9NewsQueensland) December 13, 2022
New South Wales Police had raised concerns about the welfare of 46-year-old Nathaniel Train, who was later killed by specialist officer with brother Gareth.
Train is reportedly a former principal at Cairns’ Yorkeys Knob State School in the Sunshine State’s far North before his disappearance was reported. One of his relatives stated that he allegedly had a dislike for the police.
A female, believed to be Gareth’s wife, was also killed in the gunfire. Six people, including an innocent neighbor, identified as 58-year-old Alan Dare, was killed after being hit by gunfire when he went to inspect the first incident at the property.
According to reports, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese told reporters that the country is mourning with those affected. He said:
“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. We know that this news has fallen hard on a close0knit and caring Queensland community. As well as, of course, the community to which all police officers belong.”
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