By HARRY CLARKE
IN AN interview with the Country Caller, the devastated widow of a Good Samaritan neighbour who was shot down while trying to lend a hand fighting fire has remembered him as “the greatest”.
Alan Dare was among three innocent people killed in the terrifying Monday shooting on a secluded property at Wieambilla, north of Tara on Queensland’s Western Downs.
Residents on the Wains Rd property opened fire on four young police officers who’d turned up about 4.30pm as part of a routine missing person investigation.
Nathaniel Train, 46, was the missing person. Him, his brother Gareth Train and sister-in-law Stacey Train shot two of the officers dead at close range while the remaining two fled into bushland.
Fires were lit by the shooters in a cruel attempt to smoke their police targets out of their hiding spots, but the two traumatised officers managed to escape.
“Alan and our other neighbour next door went out to check what was going on after we saw the smoke and heard the shots,” Alan’s wife of 26 years, Kerry Dare, told the Caller.
“They heard (another) a shot and then Al said ‘I feel funny’, and then he fell to the ground. (The neighbour) checked him and then realised what was going on and got out of there.”
Police swarmed the area as the frightening active shooter scenario unfolded.
Kerry and her neighbour sought cover at a command centre set up by police while officers from the Special Emergency Response Team entered the property and shot dead the three cop killers.
“Al got shot at the front of our property at 5 o’clock in the afternoon, but I didn’t know,” she said.
“I left the property with my neighbours to go out the front where all the police operations were happening, presuming that Al would be there when I got there.
“13 hours later they brought him out to me. I don’t understand how he was left there for 13 hours. I would’ve risked my life to go back and be with him for his last minutes.”
Today would have been Alan and Kerry’s 26th wedding anniversary.
They’d purchased their property on Waims Rd in 2004 but only moved there permanently, from their previous home at Ipswich, three months ago.
Alan had spent 19 years employed at the now JBS meat works at Dinmore before becoming a truck driver of 15 years.
He never had children but became a father figure to Kerry’s son and daughter, who were aged five and six when they met. He now has six grandchildren and a seventh due soon.
His family affectionately calls him Poppy.
“He was a brilliant fella. The greatest,” Kerry said.
“He was tall and handsome and strong. He tried everything and was brilliant at everything.
“He was the love of my life and it’s not fair.
“Al never asked for anything. He never complained, he never yelled. He just looked after me like I was a queen. He was my carer.”