On December 12, 2022, four officers arrived at a property in Queensland, Australia, to investigate reports of a missing person. “They walked into a hail of gunfire,” Queensland police said. Two officers managed to escape and call for help. Two police officers and a bystander were fatally shot by Gareth Train, his brother Nathaniel Train, and Nathaniel’s wife, Stacey Train, in an ambush at the Trains’ property, according to investigators.
After Gareth, Nathaniel, and Stacey Train managed to shoot and kill the two police officers and the bystander, they were shot dead by police.
Gun crimes are rare in Australia because the country has some of the world’s most stringent gun laws. However, in America, the right to bear arms is protected by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Nearly a year after the violent shootings, Queensland police confirmed that the FBI arrested 58-year-old Heber-Overgaard resident Donald Day on December 1 in connection to the Wieambilla massacre .
A search warrant was executed on a remote property north of Heber-Overgaard, called Antelope Valley in northern Arizona. However, the witness of the arrest stated that Day was arrested at the Heber Dairy Queen.
“The FBI came to the Heber Dairy Queen to get Don; they were in full tactical gear and camouflage vests with guns drawn,” said the resident. “The FBI agents told the Dairy Queen customers to leave the area.”
Day was arrested and no injuries’ were reported.
Navajo County Sheriffs Office said, ” We did not assist with the Heber arrest.”
Day used his Facebook profile to spend time writing on online platforms based in Heber-Overgaard and made people nervous.
Phillip Williams is a moderator of the Heber-Overgaard Community page and banned Day due to his antagonistic online behavior.
“My interaction with Day in June was loaded, and my only communication was online with the community page, and he was a conspiracy theorist; he was very scary kind of guy, but he had great literary skills.”
Williams explained that he spoke back and forth online with Day and felt that he was unstable and antigovernmental, and banned him a couple of months ago because he was getting reports about him from people; he banned him due to community member conflict.
According to Day’s Facebook page, he writes on the Heber Overgaard community page about unlawful property tax, protesting microchips being injected into children, the “truth about vaccines,” anti-American communists, and being attacked by other Arizonans.
Day wrote on Facebook: When I try to speak to other Arizonans about these issues, they put their fingers in their ears or verbally attack me for daring to point out the obvious demise of our state and those who promote, advocate, and institute the criminal activities which plague Arizona to the point where Arizona is fast becoming a hellhole like California or New York.
The Train’s wrote they never met Day in person; they repeatedly referred to one another as “brothers” in online posts. Videos and posts made by Day and the Train’s are similar to what was written on the Heber-Overgaard community Facebook page : An apparent hatred of police, fundamentalist Christian ideology, and a loose connection to beliefs linked to the sovereign citizen movement.
In a video posted less than a week before the massacre, “Don,” as he was referred to in exchanges with the Train’s, seemed to lay out a conspiracy-based narrative borrowing from the “great reset” theory, which predicts a coming end-days scenario with “enforced” vaccinations, and bans on Christianity, “freedom” and “private property.”
In the Train’s final video, filmed not long before police killed them, “They came to kill us and we killed them, if you don’t defend yourself from these devils and demons, then your a coward.” They told “Don” they will “be home soon” and that they love him.
Immediately after the shooting, “Don” posted his own video, where he said, “The devils came for them to kill them, and they had to kill the devils themselves and are now on the run,” he said.
The Queensland police assistant commissioner Cheryl Scanlon told media on Wednesday that the Train’s began following Day on YouTube around May 2020. She said they began commenting directly on each other’s videos in May 2021, and police had evidence to show the Train’s subsequently accessed an older YouTube account created by the same man in 2014 and viewed that content between May 2021 and December 2022.
“We know that the offenders executed a religiously-motivated terrorist attack in Queensland. They were motivated by Christian extremist ideology and subscribe to the Christian fundamentalist belief system known as premillennialism,” Scanlon said.
“The motivation of the United States national is still under investigation by the FBI,” said Scanlon.
Two indictments were issued by a grand jury in Tucson, Arizona for interstate threats. One of them related to comments posted online in December 2022 allegedly inciting violence in connection with the incident at Wieambilla.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice press release: From January 2022 to February 2023, Day used social media platforms to express a desire to incite violence and threaten a variety of groups and individuals, including law enforcement and government authorities. As to Count One, following the killing of two Queensland (Australia) Police Service officers in December 2022, Day posted a video on YouTube threatening any law enforcement official who came to his residence. Separately, as to Count Two, Day threatened to kill a victim (the Director General of the World Health Organization) in February 2023 on the video platform BitChute, calling on others to join him.
Each count carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release.
Molly K Ottman Executive Editor/Journalist and Kathy Gibson Boatman for Mountain Daily Star