A MAJOR police investigation is underway in Australia following the deaths of six people, including two police officers in their twenties, during a shooting incident in Queensland yesterday.
At around 4.30pm, four officers were in attendance at a property on Wains Rd at Wieambilla in relation to a missing person investigation.
Initial information indicates the officers were shot by two armed offenders as they approached the residence on the property.
Tara Police officers Constable Matthew Arnold, 26, and Constable Rachel McCrow, 29, have been named as the officers who were killed.
58-year-old Alan Dare from a neighbouring property also died during the incident.
Two other 28-year-old officers have also been treated in hospital.
It is with a heavy heart we confirm the deaths of Constable Matthew Arnold and Constable Rachel McCrow.
Their lives were cut tragically short in the line of duty at Wieambilla yesterday.
With Honour They Served. pic.twitter.com/XIahH0zGUX
— Queensland Police (@QldPolice) December 12, 2022
Three people at the property, a 46-year-old Kewarra Beach man, a 47-year-old Wieambilla man and a 45-year-old Wieambilla woman, were fatally shot by specialist police at the scene around 10.30pm.
Circumstances surrounding the incident, including the deaths, will be investigated by police with the assistance of homicide detectives.
Commissioner Katarina Carroll said the horrific incident was devastating for the victims’ families and the entire organisation.
“I extend my heartfelt condolences to the officers’ families, friends and colleagues and our thoughts are with them during this extremely difficult time,” Commissioner Carroll said.
“I would like to pay tribute to all police and first responders who assisted at the scene and are continuing to respond this evening.
“Tragically, this is the largest loss of life the QPS has suffered in one single incident in recent times.
“It is devastating news and I know it will be deeply felt across Queensland.
“It is sad reminder of the unpredictable nature of policing and the incredible dangers our officers face while protecting our community.”
The State Coroner has been advised and the Crime and Corruption Commission will provide independent oversight of the Ethical Standards Command investigation.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese paid tribute to Arnold and McCrow, as well as Alan Dare.
"Today is a rough day, indeed, for all police officers and their families.
"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."