Family dead in Australia’s worst mass shooting in two decades
Police find seven people dead with gunshot wounds at a property near the town of Margaret River in Canberra, Australia on Friday
Three adults and four children and two guns were found at a property on Friday
Katrina Cockman and her four children, aged 8 to 13 have been identified among the dead in seven-person, murder-suicide in Southwest Australia
All four children, who are home schooled, are believed to be autistic
Property owners Cynda Miles and her husband Peter Miles, were also killed along with their daughter and grandchildren
Police treating incident as a case of murder-suicide, confirmed they are not looking for any suspects
Two guns recovered at crime scene
Police led to property by a phone call, found the worst mass shooting in Australia in decades when a lone gunman killed 35 in Tasmania state in 1996
Katrina Cockman and her four children have been identified among the dead, in a suspected murder suicide of the family of seven. All four children are believed to be autistic and home schooled
A family of seven people, including four children, was found dead Friday in an Australian village in what is being considered the country’s worst mass shooting in 22 years, officials said.
Police are treating the incident as a murder-suicide and said they were not looking for any suspects, according to ABC Australian.
Katrina Cockman and her four children as well as her parents Peter and Cynda Miles, were all killed in the incident, that happened in Osmington, a village of fewer than 700 residents near the tourist town of Margaret River.
A family friend confirmed to ABC that Katrina Miles, her three sons and daughter aged 8 to 13, as well as her parents were the victims.
The property is owned by Cynda and Peter Miles, whose daughter Katrina, has four autistic children believed to be home-schooled,according to reports.
Mother-of-four Katrina Cockman [photo], a month ago posted a message on Facebook that her ex won’t stop stalking her
Police responding to a phone call found the bodies and two guns on the property, Western Australia state Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said.
“This devastating tragedy will no doubt have a lasting impact on the families concerned, the whole community and, in particular, the local communities in our southwest,” he added.
Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said all seven victims appeared to be residents of the property, which consists of an established house and a shed that had been converted to living quarters. Katrina and her children – The property, known as Forever Dreaming Farm, is owned by Cynda Miles and her farmer husband Peter.
Their daughter Katrina Cockman who home-schooled her four autistic children Taye, 13, Ryan, 11, Ayre, 10, and 8-year-old Kadyn Cockman moved to the property, about three years ago.
Last month Katrina Miles allegedly wrote on her Facebook page: “My ex does not stop stalking me”,
After the tragedy, two adults were found outside and the other five bodies were discovered inside the converted shed.
Cynda Miles, her husband Peter Miles, daughter Katrina and her four grand children have been identified as the victims of the seven-person, murder suicide in Southwest Australia
The mass shooting is the worst Down Under since 1996, when a lone gunman killed 35 people and seriously wounded 23 others in Port Arthur.
Local lawmaker Libby Mettam said Friday’s deaths had already sent “significant shockwaves” through the community.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone that will be affected by this tragedy, including those first responders,” Mettam said.
Former local Councillor Felicity Haynes described the slain family as “caring neighbors.”
“They were just such lovely people,” she said.
Nearby resident Freya Cheffers said she was in shock.
“Everybody’s just devastated … I just prayed that I didn’t know the family, as it turns out I kind of do,” she told ABC.
Australia’s gun laws are widely regarded as a success, with supporters including former President Barack Obama saying Australia has not had a single mass shooting since they were implemented.
Under Australian law, farmers are allowed to own guns because they have a legitimate need to use them to kill predators or sick or injured livestock.
But automatic and semi-automatic rifles and shotguns are banned from public ownership.
Samantha Lee, chairwoman of the Gun Control Australia lobby group, said rural areas were over-represented in Australian gun deaths, including suicides.
“Regional and rural areas are particularly vulnerable to these sorts of tragedies, because of the combination of isolation, sometimes mental or financial hardship and easy access to firearms,” Lee said in a statement.
“Although the details of this tragedy are yet to come to light, Australia has a tragic history of higher rate of gun deaths in rural areas,” she added.