Queensland Police are today marking the first anniversary of the shooting deaths of Constables Matt Arnold and Rachel McCrow, who were gunned down on a property at Wiembilla as they carried out their duties in relation to a missing person report.
In a statement shared on behalf the Arnold family, Matt’s heartbroken loved ones wrote:
The 12th of December 2022 is a day our family will never forget.
A day when incomprehensible evil murdered our beautiful son and brother, for simply doing his job. Matt had no chance of survival on that day, and this makes his death so unfathomable. It is so cruel and unfair that we never got to say goodbye.
We miss Matt’s laugh, kindness, empathy and willingness to help.These traits were what made him such an excellent police officer and made him love his job. We also miss his pranks, ability to be the first to the pub, burrito rolling skills, sarcasm, cheeky looks and well-known bear hugs.
Matt has been stripped of being able to attend shared triplet birthdays, family holidays and family occasions. We will miss him at these events for the rest of our lives. Most of all, we miss the sound of his truck arriving in the driveway, and him announcing he was home. He was a bigger than life character, which has left a bigger than life hole in our hearts.
On this day, and every day, we think of Rachel McCrow and her family. Every day we are in awe of Rachel’s bravery and courage. We will forever stand with the McCrow family in the pain they feel with losing Rachel. We thank both of Matt and Rachel’s friends and colleagues who have shared stories about their friendship, work shenanigans and fierce board game battles. We also remember Alan Dare on this day.
To the evacuation team and Special Emergency Response Team (SERT) officers who attended on that day, we thank you for your bravery, and for allowing Matt to be returned to us. Many of you were friends with Matt and Rachel, and we are sorry for what you had to go through on that day. Your names are etched in our brains forever, you are now family.
We wish we could count down the days until we see Matty again, instead we will live our lives as he would want, making him proud and ensuring no one forgets him and his sacrifice. The tears still flow freely and will forever sting, but we can’t wait to share stories with him over a drink, and some country music again one day. With honour he served.