Horrific details emerge after young officers executed

Frantic texts cop, 28, sent her family while hiding from camouflaged killers fearing she was about to burnt alive or gunned down: ‘Time has come’

  • Keely Brough survived a mass shooting on a remote property in Queensland
  • She was just eight weeks into her job when she and peers were fired upon
  • Two of her colleagues were shot dead, Rachel McCrow and Matthew Arnold  
  • Constable Randall Kirk, age 28 with a young family, shot in the leg but escaped
  • Constable Brough hid in bushes before gunmen started a fire to smoke her out
  • Queensland Police Union said Ms Brough didn’t know if she’d be burned alive
  • Do you know more? Email [email protected] 

Pictured: Keely Brough, 28, who survived a mass shooting

A rookie police officer who managed to escape from a Queensland shootout that killed two of her peers had sent frantic texts to her family saying her time had come.

Keely Brough, 28, had been a police officer for just eight weeks when she was caught up in the shooting at Wieambilla, three hours west of Brisbane, at 4.30pm on Monday. 

Ms Brough with visiting the Gareth Train and his wife Stacey’s property as part of an investigation into missing principal Nathaniel Train when the three of them opened fire. 

Constable Rachel McCrow, 29, and Constable Matthew Arnold, 26, were shot dead at the scene. Constable Randall Kirk, who is 28 with a toddler and a  pregnant wife, was shot in the leg but managed to escape.

Alan Dare, who lives on a neighbouring property, came out to inspect the commotion was also shot before two camouflaged gunmen.

However, Ms Brough managed to escape and hide the bush, and sent frantic text messages to loved ones as she prepared for the worst with the gunmen setting fire to the bush to smoke her out.

The young officer didn’t want to comment when contacted by Daily Mail Australia on Tuesday, but loved ones flocked to her Facebook page to send their condolences. 

‘She did not know whether she was going to be shot, or she was going to burnt alive,’ Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers told ABC on Tuesday. 

Keely Brough (pictured), 28, was just eight weeks into her service when she was caught up in the shooting near Wieambilla, three hours west of Brisbane, on Monday

Constable Randall Kirk (pictured), who is 28 with a toddler and a pregnant wife, was shot in the leg but managed to escape

Constable Randall Kirk, 28, was shot in the leg. He managed to escape and is recovering in hospital

‘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.’

‘She was in contact with her other colleagues trying to assure them we could get support to go and assist their fallen colleagues at that point in time.’

Ms Brough was later rescued by a specialist police tactical team which had scrambled to the scene. 

Mr Leavers described her as an ‘amazing young woman’, and pointed out that she was only sworn in as a police officer eight weeks ago.

‘And when she believed her life was about to come to an end, she never stopped trying to do the right thing and communicate with her colleagues. She tried to do what she possibly could.’ 

‘She was in contact with her other colleagues trying to ensure we could get the support to assist their fallen colleagues at this point in time,’ he said. 

‘They were just brave brave people who put their lives on the job.’ 

Ms Brough always wanted to be a police officer, according to a blog post on her fitness website.

‘Once I had decided what I was doing with my life, I hopped onto the QPS recruitment site and checked out top to bottom what I needed to do,’ she wrote.


Constables Rachel McCrow, 29 (left) and Matthew Arnold, 26, (right) were both stationed at Tara police station

Emergency crews at the rural property south of Chinchilla on Monday afternoon

Police had attended the Queensland property as part of inquiries into missing man Nathaniel Train (pictured), last seen in Dubbo in central-west NSW a year ago

Nathaniel and Gareth Train, as well as the latter’s female partner, were shot dead about 10.30pm local time. 

Constable Randall, who managed to flee with an injured leg, was treated at hospital in the nearby town of Chinchilla. He and Ms Brough are now recovering in hospital. 

Queensland Police commissioner Katarina Carroll said during a press conference on Tuesday it was miracle the pair survived.

‘They bravely did what they could to save their colleagues in the most horrendous circumstances,’ she said.

The officers were checking on Nathaniel Train – the former head teacher at Walgett Primary School, in the NSW greater west, and at Yorkeys Knob State school in far north Queensland.

He hadn’t been seen by some loved ones for more than a year and hadn’t been heard from since October. He was reported missing last week in Dubbo. 

Neighbour Alan Dare (pictured) was shot dead by the two men after he went to investigate the gunshots

The zone for the emergency declaration as announced by Queensland Police 

Four officers were  at this Wains Road property at Wieambilla when they were fired upon

Nathaniel was believed to have been living in regional northern NSW before travelling to Wieambilla to join his brother Gareth.

His criminal history only consisted of two traffic offences in Queensland and NSW. Local media wrote articles about Nathaniel putting Christmas decorations in his beard and over a spat concerning NAPLAN test results. 

Senior police on Tuesday said families of the victims were in ‘absolute despair’. 

A convoy of police vehicles accompanying the bodies of the slain police officers carried in vans left the crime scene en route to Brisbane’s forensic mortuary on Tuesday morning.

The bodies of constables McCrow and Arnold are expected to arrive by late morning at the John Tonge Centre at Coopers Plains in Brisbane’s west, where they will undergo autopsies.

Constable Arnold became a police officer in March 2020, while his colleague Constable McCrow was sworn into the force in June 2021. 

The town of Wieambilla, just south of Chinchilla in Queensland, has a population of about 100 

Both officers began their careers in the Dalby division and later transferred to Tara police station.

HOW THE TRAGEDY UNFOLDED 

Monday 4.30pm: Four officers attended a property on Wains Road at Wieambilla as part of inquiries into a missing persons investigation

4.30-5pm: Two gunmen dressed in camo armed opened fire as police ­approached the house 

A male constable, 29, and his female colleague, 26, were shot at close rnage and hit the ground. The gunmen stood over the injured officers and shot them again before taking their Glock pistols. A neighbour was also shot dead.

After 5pm:  A third officer shot in the leg who managed to escape is taken to the local hospital. A fourth who fled into surrounding bushland is later rescued by a specialist police tactical team.

6pm: Police declare an emergency declaration zone encompassing the area between Chinchilla Tara Rd, Wieambilla Rd, Bennetts School Rd, and Mary Street.

After 6pm: Sporadic gunfire was reported by locals throughout the night

10.30pm: Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll pays tribute to the killed officers in an emotional press conference

11.30pm:  A shootout with the Special Emergency Response Team police leaves two men and a woman dead.

Commissioner Carroll paid an emotional tribute to the pair killed in the tragedy.

‘In my opinion, those officers didn’t stand a chance,’ she said

‘Matthew and Rachel were highly respected and much loved members of the Queensland Police Service. They were both committed and courageous young people who had a passion for policing and for serving their community,’ she said.

‘Both under 30 years of age. Both had wonderful careers and lives ahead of them.

‘We have dedicated family liaison officers in place supporting their families. I will be visiting their families in the very near future. Tara is small station within a very tightknit community.’

The Queensland Police Union has set up a remembrance fund for the fallen constables Arnold and McCrow.

‘Every cent will go to the families of Rachel and Matthew,’ Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers said.

‘One thing as a union we will do is not only look after our own and the entire blue family but we’ll continue to do our job but as well we will ensure that their memories are never forgotten.

Hours earlier, Mr Leavers described the killing of the two officers as ‘ruthless, calculated and targeted execution’.

‘These officers’ tragic, needless and senseless murders have already been felt deeply across Queensland and all over Australia,’ he wrote in a memo to police.

‘Our thoughts are also with police who bravely contained and managed the subsequent operation that has now resulted in the deaths of all the offenders.’ 

‘We are all in a state of shock and disbelief. To be here tonight and know that two brave police both under the age of 30 have needlessly lost their lives affects all our emotions.

‘To know that she and he are no longer with us in what was a ruthless, calculated and targeted execution of our colleagues and loved ones brings home the very real risks that we face every single day doing our jobs.’

Flags will be flown at half mast at all police stations across Queensland on Tuesday while a floral tribute is building outside Chinchilla police station.

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