Australian police investigate extremist views of cop killers

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Australian police are investigating the extremist views of three people who shot and killed two officers and a neighbor on a rural property before being killed hours later by police in a gunfight.

In all, six people died in the violence on Monday in Queensland state. The killers were identified as former school principal Nathaniel Train, 47, his brother Gareth, 46, and sister-in-law Stacey, 45.

Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said on Tuesday that investigators would look into the killers’ possible extremist connections after a series of posts under the name Gareth Train were found on conspiracy theory forums.

The posts include references to anti-vaccine sentiment and claims that other high-profile shootings were hoaxes or false flag operations.

“At the moment it is very difficult for us to think about what happened, there are no obvious reasons,” Carroll told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. But he added that he had no doubts that the police would return in the coming days and weeks. with a vision of the tragic events that unfolded.

Carroll said every possible motive for the killings was being examined, including whether it was a premeditated attack on officers.

“Some of the stuff that’s online from these people, we’re going to investigate what they’ve been up to not just in the last few weeks but in the last few years, who they’ve interacted with,” she said.

Four officers arrived at the property in the Queensland town of Wieambilla to investigate reports of a missing person. They got into a hail of gunfire, Carroll said, and it was a miracle that two officers managed to escape and raise the alarm.

Those killed were officers Matthew Arnold, 26, and Rachel McCrow, 29, along with 58-year-old neighbor Alan Dare.

One of the officers who escaped, Officer Randall Kirk, 28, was recovering in hospital Wednesday from shrapnel wounds. He said he and his wife wanted to thank everyone “from the Prime Minister down” for their messages of support.

“I feel fine, just a little sore. My main thoughts are with the other police families at this terrible time,” Kirk said in a statement released by the police union. “It means a lot to know that the community cares for all of us.”

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese earlier told reporters in Sydney the country mourned with those affected.

“This is truly a devastating day for everyone who loved these Australians, and our hearts go out to those in terrible pain,” he said. “We know this news has fallen hard on a close-knit and caring Queensland community. Plus, of course, the community to which all police officers belong.”

He said officers across the nation know the risks they face, but they are doing their duty.

“And today and every day, I pay tribute to each of the police officers who serve their local communities and who serve their nation,” Albanese said. “That’s not a price anyone wearing the uniform should ever pay.”

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