At least two police officers killed and one wounded after shooting in the Western Downs region of Queensland
There are grave concerns for the lives of at least two police officers and one civilian after a shooting in Queensland.
By Joseph Huitson
There are grave concerns for the lives of at least two police officers and one civilian after a shooting west of Brisbane.
Sky News understands a third police officer has been wounded but has managed to escape and is being treated by paramedics.
Police were fired on while visiting the property at Wieambilla, about 300km west of Brisbane, in relation to a reported missing person from NSW.
Terrible scenes in Wieambilla and a heartbreaking day for the families and friends of the Queensland Police officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. My condolences to all who are grieving tonight – Australia mourns with you.
— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) December 12, 2022
In a statement Queensland Police announced an “ongoing incident” at Wieambilla in the Western Downs region.
There are grave concerns for the lives of at least two police officers and one civilian after a shooting in Queensland. Picture: Twitter/7News
In a statement Queensland Police announced an “ongoing incident” at Wieambilla in the Western Downs region. Picture: Supplied
Two police officers died at the scene while a third person died later. A third officer suffered a bullet graze and is in hospital and a fourth officer managed to escape after the shooting.
The scene was likened to an ambush, sources told the Brisbane Times, with some reports suggesting the offenders were heavily armed and possibly wearing camouflage.
Queensland Police declared an emergency situation just after 6pm AEST.
“Police have declared an emergency declaration under the Public Safety Preservation Act (PSPA) in relation to an ongoing incident at Wieambilla,” the statement said.
“Several police crews are in attendance at the property.
Residents in the declared area have been urged to remain indoors.
“Wains Road is closed, and the declaration zone encompasses the area between Chinchilla Tara Rd, Wieambilla Rd, Bennetts School Rd, and Mary Street,” the statement said.
“Residents within the declared areas must remain indoors until further notice, and motorists and pedestrians are advised to avoid the area.”
Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll confirmed the fatalities in a media conference earlier this evening.
“It is with deep sadness that I confirm the deaths of three people, including two officers, during an incident in the Western Downs late this afternoon,” Carroll said.
“Four officers attended a property on Wains Road in Wieambilla in relation to a reported missing person from New South Wales. Tragically, while in attendance, two officers were shot and declared deceased at the scene.
“A member of the public was also shot and is deceased. Another officer received a bullet graze and is receiving treatment in hospital. A fourth officer managed to escape the property and is also receiving treatment.”
She said the police helicopter and specialist officers were involved in searching for the offenders and “we urge the public to stay away from this exclusion zone”.
Deeply distressing news coming out of western Queensland tonight with those police officers who have been murdered. Police officers face danger every day to keep us from it.
— Peter Dutton (@PeterDutton_MP) December 12, 2022
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the entire state would be in “shock and sadness”.
“I extend my deepest respects to their families and to the Queensland Police Service family as a whole,” Palaszczuk said.
“Our police risk their lives every day to keep us safe. I know Queensland joins with me in expressing our shock and sadness.”
Police Minister Mark Ryan said the Queensland Police Service “has lost two heroes tonight”.
“This is a tragedy on so many levels and the thoughts of all of us are with the police family tonight,” Ryan said.
Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll and Police Minister Mark Ryan confirmed the deaths. (Nine)
“This is a traumatic, confronting and devastating event for our community.
“I express my sincere condolences to their family, friends and colleagues and the entire police family.
“These officers served with honour and we will always remember their sacrifice in service of our community.”
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese paid tribute to the slain officers.
“Terrible scenes in Wieambilla and a heartbreaking day for the families and friends of the Queensland Police officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
“My condolences to all who are grieving tonight – Australia mourns with you.”
Federal Liberal Party leader and former Queensland police officer Peter Dutton said the news out of western Queensland was “deeply distressing”.
“Police officers face danger every day to keep us from it,” he said.
Tonight we have learned of a horrible tragedy.
Three people are dead, including two Queensland Police officers killed in the line of duty.
— Annastacia Palaszczuk (@AnnastaciaMP) December 12, 2022
Queensland Police will provide another update in the morning, Carroll said.
Wains Road is closed and an exclusion zone remains in place encompassing the area between Chinchilla Tara Road, Wieambilla Road, Bennetts School Road and Mary Street.
Members of the public have been urged to avoid the area and nearby residents asked to stay inside as the offenders remain on the run.
Wiembilla is a remote locality with a population of 93 people, according to the 2016 census. The closest rural towns are Chinchilla and Condamine. Dalby, the regional hub of the Western Downs, is just over an hour away by road.