TRAGIC: Call on community to stand with cops

Mayor Brett Otto has called on the community to stand with him in support of the police. Picture: SBRC

Burnett residents are throwing their support around their local police officers in the wake of a tragic Western Downs police incident.

A major police investigation continues following the deaths of six people, including two police officers and a member of the public, during a shooting incident in the Western Downs on 12 December.

South Burnett Mayor Brett Otto has since called on the South Burnett community to stand with our local Police officers and their families as they live through the devastating loss of their colleagues in the recent incident at Tara.

“We very much feel for the families, loved ones and colleagues of the officers involved,” Mayor Otto said.

The Mayor is writing to the Queensland Police Commissioner in sharing the region’s deepest condolences on behalf of the people of the South Burnett.

Mayor Otto has contacted Police District Inspector Scott Stahlhut on behalf of the South Burnett regional community to ensure our local police know that we are thinking of them and are here to support them.

The Mayor also called Mayor Paul McVeigh to personally pass on our region’s heartfelt condolences as our neighbours at Western Downs live through this traumatic time.

“This will deeply affect every person in the Police family, including those who serve across the South Burnett and so, as a community, now more than ever we need to be thinking of them, letting them know that we are standing beside them and showing our gratitude for putting themselves at risk in keeping us safe,” Mayor Otto said.

Member for Maranoa David Littleproud also expressed his deepest condolences to the police officers and families involved in the horrific shooting.

“My thoughts are with the two brave police officers and the member of the public who lost their lives,” he said.

“The police community will be raw and we grieve with them.

“Every day police officers go to work, risking their lives for our safety and protection.

“They are among the bravest people in our community.”

Mr Littleproud noted that we should ever take the dedication of these police officers for granted.

“We are indebted to the police officers and emergency service personnel who responded. This is not what anyone would expect,” he said.

“We know other officers were involved and managed to escape and we cannot imagine what they went through. They are in our thoughts and prayers also.”


On Monday, 12 December around 4.30pm four officers were in attendance at a property on Wains Rd at Wieambilla in relation to a missing person investigation when two officers and a member of the public were fatally shot.

Tara Police officers Constable Matthew Arnold, 26, and Constable Rachel McCrow, 29, died at the scene.

A 58-year-old local man from a neighbouring property also died during the incident.

Constable Randall Kirk sustained a gunshot injury and is continuing to receive treatment in hospital.

Constable Keely Brough was transported to hospital as a precaution and has since been released.

Both officers are aged 28 and from Chinchilla Police Station.

Three people at the property, a 46-year-old Kewarra Beach man, a 47-year-old Wieambilla man and a 45-year-old Wieambilla woman, were fatally shot by specialist police at the scene around 10.30pm.

Circumstances surrounding the incident, including the deaths, will be investigated by police with the assistance of homicide detectives.

The State Coroner has been advised and the Crime and Corruption Commission will provide independent oversight of the Ethical Standards Command investigation.

Counselling services are available including Beyond Blue (1300 22 4636), Lifeline (13 11 14) and Head to Health (1800 595 212).