A former school principal who killed two young cops in a police shootout had two kids with his high school sweetheart, before she moved on and married his brother – sparking a 23-year rift in their family.
Married couple Gareth and Stacey Train were shot dead by police, alongside his brother Nathaniel Train, at the home they all shared in Wieambilla, west of Brisbane, at 10.30pm on Monday.
Earlier that day, they murdered young constables Rachel McCrow, 29, and Matthew Arnold, 26, who went to their property looking for Nathanial – who was reported missing a year ago.
The trio were paranoid, living off the grid, and were caught up in a range of bizarre conspiracy theories, including anti-vax beliefs that saw her quit her job as a head of curriculum at a nearby school in December last year.
Daily Mail Australia has established Gareth and Mrs Train raised two children on various properties they owned in regional parts of Queensland – however, it can now be revealed that Nathanial, not Gareth, was the children’s father.
The children are now believed to be in their 20s.
Quinalow is one of a long list of primary schools in Queensland where ‘Mrs Train’ (circled in red in this picture from 2011) had stints as principal
Nathaniel Train (pictured), had worked as the principal at several schools around Queensland and NSW
Mrs Train and Nathaniel were high school sweethearts in Toowoomba, west of Brisbane, where they were both members of an evangelical church run by his father, Ronald Train, The Guardian reported.
They got married in their late teens in 1995 and had two kids – however, the relationships soured when Mrs Train left her husband for his brother, Gareth.
The relationship caused a rift in the family – particularly between the brothers and their father, who was a pastor for 27 years at a church which has strict views on marriage.
Nathaniel and his father had not spoken for 23 years with Ronald confirming that fact in a Facebook comment under a missing person’s appeal for Nathaniel.
Gareth and Mrs Train moved around regional parts of Queensland – she was the principal in a range of different areas, including Herberton, Mitchell and Proston State Schools and others in far north Queensland.
At one stage, they lived in Mount Isa where he worked as a school groundsman.
Cop killer Stacey Train (pictured) was a respected school principal before she became a crazed conspiracy theorist
They finally bought the property in Wieambilla seven years ago, where the shooting took place, and she took up a post as head of curriculum and a teacher’s aide at Tara Shire State College in 2019.
In December last year, she was forced to resign because the school’s mandatory Covid vaccine policy did not align with her anti-vaxx stance.
A former colleague said Mrs Train didn’t promote her conspiracy theorist views, but it was known that she had alternative beliefs and thought the pandemic was a scheme by the government.
‘I was trying to convince her to stay, and I said “I should hold you down and force it into you”, and her face just dropped … and her eyes got wide with horror.’
She also said Mrs Train was not concerned about losing her income because they lived off the grid and had enough money to survive for years without working.
Nathaniel had a major heart attack last August, and Mrs Train took time off to look after him.
The woman also told the publication it was unlikely the trio were in a polyamorous relationship because they still held strong religious views.
Matthew Arnold, 26, was killed upon arriving at the property, as was Rachel McCrow, 29
‘I’m really struggling to match up what happened, and who she was,’ the former colleague said.
All three killers had worked for Queensland Department of Education in the last 15 years, but all had quit by the time of the savage ambush on Monday.
Gareth resigned from the Queensland Department of Education in May 2016, while Nathaniel resigned from the Department in March 2020, a spokesperson for the Queensland Government said.
None of them were subject to any Departmental disciplinary proceedings at the time of their departures, and Nathaniel Train went on to work in the school system in NSW’s central west.
A former student of Tara Shire State College said Mrs Train was ‘her own person, but nice’ and lived as something of a recluse – only ever travelling into town in Tara, about 45 minutes from her property, to go to work.
Like many people in the Wieambilla area, the former student heard gunshots on Monday evening and was shocked to learn the shoot-out happened close to her home.
Four officers were at this Wains Road property at Wieambilla when they were fired upon
She said it was ‘unsettling’ and she felt rattled, but was even more shocked to learn her old teacher was caught up in the incident.
Before the murderous trio moved to Wieambilla, the three of them owned a four-bedroom home together in Millstream, about 150km south-west of Cairns in far North Queensland, which they sold in 2009.
A neighbour from their Millstream days told Daily Mail Australia paints a very different picture from the Trains’ reputation at school, describing them as ‘paranoid’ and aggressive’ people, who didn’t want any attention.
He said Stacey and Gareth lived on the property full time, and Nathaniel would stay there on the weekends.
Constable Rachel McCrow, 29, and Constable Matthew Arnold, 26, arrived at the property, and met up with a second car containing Constable Keely Brough and Constable Randall Kirk, both aged 28.
McCrow and Arnold honked their horn to alert the residents of their presence. When there was no movement from inside the house, the four officers got out of their cars and jumped over the locked fence.
One of the two surviving officers, Constable Keeley Brough (pictured left) fled into surrounding bushland. Constable Randall Kirk, 28, was shot in the leg but managed to escape
Neighbour Alan Dare (pictured) was shot dead by the armed trio after he went to investigate the gunshots
Seconds later, a shower of bullets descended on the four officers, believed to have been fired by Nathaniel and Gareth Train and Gareth’s wife Stacey.
Constance McCrow and Constable Arnold were instantly hit, and fell to the ground.
A third officer, Constable Randall Kirk, 28, and a soon to be father-of-two, was shot in the leg but managed to escape. He is now recovering in hospital.
The fourth cop, Keely Brough, 28, was able to escape to hide in nearby bushes as the gunmen tried to hunt her down.
The killers moved on the injured police officers and shot them dead, point-blank while stealing their guns while Ms Brough scrambled away.
An innocent bystander, Alan Dare, 58, who lived next door raced over after hearing the commotion but died after being caught in the crossfire.