A pastor from Queensland’s Western Downs says the entire region is in shock and grief after the shootings that left six people dead including two Tara-based police officers.
Pastor Lee Dallman from the Country Hope Church in Chinchilla told Vision Radio a lot of people are hurting after the two young constables were gunned down along with a neighbour on a remote property at Wieambilla
Their alleged killers – a former school teacher, his brother and sister-in-law – were later fatally shot in a gunfight with heavily armed tactical officers.
Pastor Dallman says his church will work with the region’s council to provide prayer, counselling and other services to the grieving community.
Pastor Ron Evans from the Tara Community Church told Vision Radio that locals are devastated.
He says they’re welcome to seek support from his church which is planning a prayer service for the victims and the Tara community.
Pastor Evans adds that police chaplains are coordinating the Christian response in the town that’s mourning two of its constables — Matthew Arnold, 26, and Rachel McCrow, 29.
Their colleagues Constables Keeley Brough and Randall Kirk, both 28, were taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The murdered neighbour was 58-year-old Alan Dare.
Queensland police commissioner Katarina Carroll said the officers “never stood a chance”.
“The fact that two got out alive is a miracle. To think they survived the scene, let alone called for assistance, is just extraordinary,” she said.
They had gone to the property to look for a man who had been missing for almost a year.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said it was a heartbreaking loss for the families and friends of those who had lost their lives in the line of duty.
“My condolences to all who are grieving tonight – Australia mourns with you,” he tweeted.