Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said a shooting that left to police officers and one bystander dead was the "largest loss of life" from a single incident in recent memory. Screen capture/ABC News/YouTube
Dec. 12 (UPI) -- Queensland Police are hunting suspects near Brisbane in connection with a rural shooting that killed two law enforcement officers and a bystander on Monday.
The shooting in Wieambilla, which also injured two other officers happened when officers arrived at the property to investigate a missing person's report involving someone from New South Wales.
Authorities are calling the incident an "active event" and issued an emergency declaration for the surrounding neighborhood.
"Residents within the declared areas must remain indoors until further notice, and motorists and pedestrians are advised to avoid the area," the declaration said.
Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said it was the "largest loss of life" from a single incident in recent memory.
"An operation is currently unfolding at the location this evening involving PolAir and specialist colleagues," Carroll said. "While we are yet to learn the full extent of what has occurred today, we do know this event is extraordinarily distressing on many levels."
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese expressed his condolences late Monday.
"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," he said on Twitter. "My condolences to all who are grieving tonight -- Australia mourns with you."
Police Minister Mark Ryan said the officers who lost their lives were "heroes."
"I express my sincere condolences to their family, friends and colleagues and the entire police family," Ryan said. "These officers serve with honor and we will always remember their sacrifice and service to our community."