MELBOURNE, Australia — Two police officers and a bystander were killed in a shootout that erupted during an investigation into a missing-person case in the Australian state of Queensland, the police said on Tuesday, with one official describing the officers’ death as a “ruthless” execution.
Three other people, believed to have been the attackers, were later shot and killed by the police, officials said.
Much was still unknown about the circumstances surrounding the killings, which occurred on Monday at a remote rural property in the Western Downs area. But at a news conference in Chinchilla, Queensland, the state police commissioner, Katarina Carroll, called the events “complex and horrendous.”
“This event is the largest loss of police life we have suffered in a single incident in many years,” Commissioner Carroll said, adding, “It is going to take us a number of days, if not weeks, to unravel every single aspect of the scene.”