Australia: Four children among seven killed in country's worst shooting since 1996

12 May, 2018, 06:40 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • The bodies of Katrina Miles and her four children were found at the property

Two guns were also found on the scene. "Police are now responding to what I can only describe as a horrific incident".

Only a month ago, Ms Miles claimed on her Facebook page that: "My ex does not stop stalking me" according to The Australian.

The children were reported by home-schooled, with local residents saying nothing but good of the family.

The property was owned by Cynda Miles and her husband Peter. It's understood all four kids had autism.

Dawson refused to be drawn on who the person was that alerted police, their relationship to the victims or whether they heard gunshots. Two firearms were found on the property, but it is not known who began the massacre.

Mr Dawson described the discovery as "devastating". Two adults lay on the outside, and another adult and four children inside the building.

As the close-knit community of mostly small-acreage farms reels at news of the mass murder-suicide, a local resident who did not want to be named described the family as "hugely respected" and "a great asset to the community".

Police were attempting to make contact with victims' relatives, Dawson said.

Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan tweeted after the incident: "The events in our South West are tragic and shocking".

Neighbour Richard Dosser told the ABC he had spoken to someone who lived in the house who worked as a farm maintenance worker. "I just feel sick to the stomach". He said there appeared to be gunshot wounds. Proud locals say people go there to retire or bask in a rural paradise.

Augusta-Margaret River Shire president Pamela Townshend said Osmington Road was home to a particularly tight sub-community.

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"It's surreal that this is happening here in our handsome little community".

"It just shows violence is throughout a society, we're not immune down here".

Need to Talk? Free call or text 1737 any time to speak to a trained counsellor, for any reason.

"Such a horrific killing is going to affect our community very deeply".

"The good thing about a small community is that we all mobilise to support people who are in awful distress, and there will be a huge community response ... to support people affected directly and indirectly by this".

The commissioner said the incident had taken its toll on first responders.

"It is still very early in this investigation but based on what we do know this is clearly a significant tragedy", he said.

Detectives are expected to spend several days at the property.

Western Australia Police found the remains of all the victims at approximately 5.15 am on Friday after receiving a phone call just after 5am. Police did not mention who made the call.

The ages of the children were not released.

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