Shot at, they had no chance: six dead, including two police officers, in Australia

Sylvie Claire / December 13, 2022


Six people, including two young police officers, died in a shooting and siege of a remote property in the Australian state of Queensland, police said Tuesday.
Four police officers arrived late Monday afternoon at a tree-lined property near the small eastern town of Wieambilla. "As soon as they entered the property, they were riddled with gunfire ... they didn't stand a chance," said Queensland police union president Ian Leavers.
"Two police officers were executed in cold blood," he added. Those killed have been identified as Rachel McCrow, 26, and Matthew Arnold, 29. Both had joined law enforcement within the past two years.
"These officers made the ultimate sacrifice to keep our community safe," Queensland Police Commander Katarina Carroll said, holding back tears. A 58-year-old neighbor was also shot and "pronounced dead at the scene," police said. An investigation was underway Tuesday.
Two other police officers survived the shooting and were taken to hospital with minor injuries. Among them was a policewoman whom the suspects had tried to dislodge from the brush where she had been hiding, sending desperate messages to her relatives, local media reported.
Aerial images of the scene show an ordinary bungalow with a zinc roof, a burnt vehicle and smoke still around the property.
After the first shots were fired, a special response team of more than a dozen members was dispatched to the scene, backed by air support.
Shortly after 10:30 p.m. local time, after a siege lasting several hours, three suspects - two men and a woman - died. Their identities have not been released by the police.
Law enforcement was conducting a search regarding the 2021 disappearance of a former elementary school principal, according to local media. The property was registered to the missing man's brother and sister-in-law, according to local media.
The missing man's brother was a regular contributor to conspiracy theory sites that denounced "secret societies" and the alleged conduct of "false flag operations" by secret intelligence agents, according to local media.
Shootings are rare in Australia, which has some of the strictest gun legislation in the world.
A ban on automatic and semi-automatic weapons has been in place since a 1996 shooting in Port Arthur, Tasmania, when a lone gunman shot 35 people.
Premier Anthony Albanese called the events in Wieambilla "horrific" and said it was a "heartbreaking day for the families and friends of Queensland police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. Queensland state officials ordered flags on government buildings to be flown at half-mast.
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