Six dead, including two police officers, after shooting and siege at rural property

Police have shot dead three people after an ambush at a remote property on Queensland’s Darling Downs in which two officers and a member of the public were killed, bringing the total number of fatalities to six.

Just after 10.30pm on Monday, two men and one woman were fatally shot by police at the property on Wains Road in Wieambilla, about three hours west of Brisbane.

Earlier in the day, four police officers were at the isolated rural property to investigate reports of a missing person from NSW and were met with a hail of gunfire. Sources likened the scene to an ambush.

Police returned fire but two officers were critically injured and died at the scene. A member of the public, believed to be a neighbour, who also responded to the gunfire was killed.

Another two officers were wounded when at least two gunmen opened fire at the rural property at Wains Road in Wieambilla at 4.45pm.

It is understood a female officer, in her first year and only a few weeks out of the police academy, managed to flee the scene and help raise the alarm.

Authorities said a siege situation then ensued at the property and specialist police officers and PolAir responded.

“Two males and a female were fatally shot during a confrontation with police shortly after 10.30pm,” police said in a statement early on Tuesday morning.

An emergency declaration remained in place on Tuesday morning for the Wieambilla area and a crime scene had been established at the property.

At 9.40pm (AEST), Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll confirmed the daeths of the two officers and the one bystander but released very little detail on the incident because the offenders had yet to be taken into custody at the time.

“Tragically, this is the largest loss of life we have suffered in one single incident in recent times,” Carroll said.

“Those officers paid the ultimate sacrifice to keep our community safe.

Circumstances surrounding the incident will be investigated by police and overviewed by the Ethical Standards Command on behalf of the coroner.

“I know the days and weeks ahead will be particularly difficult for families and the police family,” Carroll said.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese described “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,” Albanese wrote on Twitter.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Western Downs Mayor Paul McVeigh said the incident was a terrible tragedy.

Federal Opposition leader Peter Dutton, a former Queensland police officer, said it was “deeply distressing news” about “those police who have been murdered”.

Police have declared an emergency declaration under the Public Safety Preservation Act in relation to an incident at Wieambilla.Credit:Police Media

Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan used the late night press conference to offer a prayer for all those involved.

Police declared an emergency situation about 6.15pm, attempting to contain the offenders in a cordon around large farming properties and gas fields.

Wains Road was closed, with the zone including the area between Chinchilla Tara Road, Wieambilla Road, Bennetts School Road, and Mary Street.

“Residents within the declared areas must remain indoors until further notice, and motorists and pedestrians are advised to avoid the area,” police said.

The sparsely populated area is home to several large properties and gas fields. It lies between the regional centre of Chinchilla, population 7068, and Tara to the south-west.

With AAP

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