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Inside cop killers’ end-of-days ideology

Major update in cop killing probe announced
Police have announced a major update in their investigation into the murders of two police officers and an innocent neighbour in a religiously-motivated terror attack.

A United States man known only as Don has been arrested in relation to a religiously-motivated terrorist attack in Australia, during which two police officers and another man were murdered.

Police allege the man, known only as “Don” in videos, was in contact with members of the Train family before their murdered police officers Matthew Arnold and Rachel McCrow, and neighbour Alan Dare, during the horrific shooting at Wieambilla in December last year.

The US man, known as Don, was arrested at a property near Heber Overgaard, Arizona, last Friday.
The US man, known as Don, was arrested at a property near Heber Overgaard, Arizona, last Friday. He had communicated with Gareth and Stacey Train over YouTube. Picture: Supplied

Constables Arnold and McCrow were killed by Nathaniel, Stacey and Gareth Train on December 12, 2022 when they went to the remote Western Downs bush block to investigate a missing person’s report concerning Nathaniel.

Alan Dare, their neighbour, was also shot and killed by the trio.

The Trains were followers of an extremist Christian ideology known as “premillennialism” – the belief Jesus Christ would return to earth after a period of extreme suffering.

Constable Rachel McCrow who died at the property in Wieambilla. Picture: Supplied
Constable Rachel McCrow who died at the property in Wieambilla. Picture: Supplied
Constable Matthew Arnold was also killed in the shootout. Picture: Supplied.
Constable Matthew Arnold was also killed in the shootout. Picture: Supplied.
Members of the Train family were shot and killed by police hours after murdering constables McCrow and Arnold, and Mr Dare. Picture: Supplied / Channel 9
Members of the Train family were shot and killed by police hours after murdering constables McCrow and Arnold, and Mr Dare. Picture: Supplied / Channel 9

In the hours following the shooting, Stacey and Gareth uploaded a chilling video to YouTube where they admitted to killing the officers and Mr Dare, communicating with a person known only as “Don”.

In a statement on Wednesday, Queensland Police confirmed a 58-year-old United States national had been arrested in Arizona in connection with the shooting.

QPS Assistant Commissioner Cheryl Scanlon on Wednesday said the police investigation linked the US national and his exchanges with Gareth and Stacey over YouTube years beforehand.

Commissioner Scanlon on Wednesday confirmed the arrested US man was the “Don” discussed in the Trains’ video.

“On November 29 at Tucson, Arizona, two indictments were issued by a grand jury for interstate threats under the US S 875c,” Commissioner Scanlon said.

Police Presser
Assistant Queensland Police Commissioner Cheryl Scanlon said one of the man’s indictments related to comments posted online in December 2022, linked to the Wieambilla shooting. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Tertius Pickard
Police Presser
Nitiana Nann from the FBI speaks during a press conference in relation to the arrest of a man in America over the police deaths at Wieambilla last year. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Tertius Pickard

“One of those threats relates to comments posted online in December 2022, inciting violence in connection with the incident at Wieambilla.”

She said the 58-year-old man was arrested in Heber Overgaard, Arizona on December 1.

The man appeared in a US court and was remanded in custody.

Commissioner Scanlon said the investigation was ongoing and a search warrant had been executed at a remote property 30km north of Heber Overgaard in northern Arizona.

She said one of the man’s indictments related to “online activity” in connection with the Wieambilla matter.

Alan Dare, the good Samaritan neighbour of the Trains, was also shot dead investigating fires at the Wains Rd property. Picture: Supplied
Alan Dare, the good Samaritan neighbour of the Trains, was also shot dead investigating fires at the Wains Rd property. Picture: Supplied
Police Presser
The US man has faced court and has been remanded in custody, Assistant Commissioner Cheryl Scanlon confirmed. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Tertius Pickard

Commissioner Scanlon said the motivation of the US man was still under investigation.

She said it was known Gareth Train began following the man on YouTube around May 2020.

The pair began commenting directly on each other’s’ videos in May 2021.

“We have evidence to show the Trains subsequently accessed an older YouTube account created by the same man in 2014, and viewed that content,” Commissioner Scanlon said.

“Between May 2021 and December 2022, the man repeatedly sent messages containing Christian end-of-days ideology to Gareth, and then later to Stacey,” she said.

“Evidence has been seized and is being analysed by the FBI.”

The man is not currently known to QPS investigators, Commissioner Scanlon confirmed.

She said part of the investigation also involved probing who else had been in contact with the man.

Investigators from the QPS Ethical Standards Command and the Security and Counter Terrorism Command travelled to the United States of America to pursue the investigation.

“On Friday morning, December 1, 2023 (US time) FBI Agents arrested a 58-year-old United States national near Heber Overgaard, Arizona in connection to the religiously motivated terrorist attack on December 12, 2022 at Wieambilla,” Queensland Police said in a statement earlier on Wednesday.

“Investigations by the QPS and FBI are ongoing in Arizona.

Nathaniel Train, the brother of Gareth and ex-husband of Stacey Train. Picture: Supplied
Nathaniel Train, the brother of Gareth and ex-husband of Stacey Train. Picture: Supplied
The Trains believed in a fundamentalist Christian ideology known as premillennialism. Picture: Supplied / Channel 9
The Trains believed in a fundamentalist Christian ideology known as premillennialism. Picture: Supplied / Channel 9
A still from a YouTube video uploaded by Gareth and Stacey Train just hours after they shot the constables and Mr Dare dead. Picture: Supplied / YouTube
A still from a YouTube video uploaded by Gareth and Stacey Train just hours after they shot the constables and Mr Dare dead. Picture: Supplied / YouTube

“The state coroner and families of Constables Matthew Arnold, Rachel McCrow, and neighbour Alan Dare along with other officers involved, have been briefed on the progress of this investigation.”

Members of the Train family – brothers Nathaniel and Gareth Train, and his wife Stacey – murdered both constables when they attended the Wains Rd property near Tara.

The officers were conducting a welfare check on Nathaniel, a former NSW school principal who had been reported missing months earlier.

A third constable, Keely Brough, fled into bushland when the trio fired upon her while a fourth officer, Randall Kirk, was injured.

Mr Dare was killed by the trio when he came to investigate smoke coming from the property, caused by fires the Trains had lit to flush out constable Brough.

Nathaniel, Gareth and Stacey were all killed during a shootout with police later that night.