Days before Christmas, Queensland Police are mourning two of their own.

On Monday, four Queensland police officers went off to work. 

They put on their badges, and tied their boots and ... did their job.

But only two returned home.

Constables Matthew Arnold, 26, and Rachel McCrow, 29, from the Tara police station attended a remote property in Wieambilla, around 300 kilometres northwest of Brisbane to make inquiries relating to missing person, former school principal Nathaniel Train.

As they walked down the driveway to the front door, they were met with a hail of bullets fired by two men, clad in military greens. The suspects were Train and his brother, Gareth Train. 

Constables Arnold and McCrow were hit, and fell to the ground. 

The gunmen approached, and fatally shot the wounded police officers, execution-style where they lay, reported The Australian. 

Neighbour Alan Dare, 58, then arrived at the property. Tragically, he too was shot and killed by the gunmen. At close range. 

Two other police officers - Constable Keely Brough, 28 and Constable Randell Kirk, 27 from Chinchilla police station - were also at the scene. 

Constable Kirk was shot in the leg, but miraculously managed to escape. It is believed that he raised the alarm about the ambush.

Meanwhile, Constable Brough ran into the surrounding bush. The gunmen turned their attentions to her, setting a fire to try to flush out and kill her too.


"They actually lit the grass on fire to try and have her stand up, so they could shoot her dead. And she did not know whether she was going to be shot or she would be burnt alive," Queensland Union President Ian Leavers told The Australian.

As Constable Brough hid, her thumbs tapped out frantic text messages to loved ones. She had only been in the force for eight weeks. 

Thankfully, she was rescued by an extraction team of 16 special operations police and PolAir, who also retrieved the bodies of the slain officers. 

They also shot dead the three suspects; the Train brothers and a woman who is believed to be the wife of Gareth Train. 

Yesterday, Queensland Police released images of the fallen police officers. 

Constable Arnold smiles in his uniform, with two Dachshund puppies nestled under his arm. He has kind blue eyes that smile too. 

The Daily Mail reports he had packed up his car and was planning to drive to Brisbane to see his parents over Christmas, on Tuesday.

"Rest In Peace, my beautiful boy," his mum wrote online.

Constable McGrow stands calmly in a well pressed and shiny uniform at a function. A woman drapes her arm around her, beaming with pride. 

We've since found out the young officers were housemates. They'd previously been stationed at Dalby together, too.


Image: Facebook/Queensland Police Service/Mamamia.

As details of the lives of Matthew and Rachel start to come out, one thing is painfully clear - they were so young. 

Constable Arnold was sworn in as a police officer not even three years ago, while Constable McCrow entered the force in June 2021.


"Both under 30 years of age. Both had wonderful careers and lives ahead of them,” said Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll as she held back tears in a press conference in Chinchilla on Tuesday.

Lives that may have encompassed love and mistakes and proposals and job promotions and the sound of their children's cries, and laughter with family around the table, and heartbreak, and walking their dog, and clinking glasses with friends on a Saturday night, and dreams of adventures to be had.

Image: Facebook/Queensland Police Union of Employees.


Instead, 12 days before Christmas, their families have cruelly been left to mourn. 

To grapple the abyss that remains.

To come to terms with never hearing their son or daughter or brother or sister or partner or husband or wife come through the front door of home again. 

To never again hear the rhythm of their walk approaching, or smell the scent that is only theirs, or to hold them close once more. 

And all because, they did what so many of us take for granted each day.

Their job. 

'With honour they served.'

The Queensland Police Union of Employee has established a remembrance fund for Constable Matthew Arnold and Constable Rachel McCrow. Click here for more details. A GoFundMe fundraiser page has been created to support Alan Dare's widow, Kerry. Click here to donate.

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Feature Image: Facebook/Queensland Police Service/Mamamia.