Australia sees its worst mass killing in 2 decades

WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson

Police are said to have found the bodies of the children with their mother and grandparents at the rural property in Osmington, near the town of Margaret River, in Australia's southwest.

It is the worst mass shooting in Australia since the Port Arthur massacre in 1996, in which 35 people were killed and another 23 seriously injured by lone gunman Martin Bryant.

Three generations of a single family have been identified as the victims of Australia's worst mass shooting in 22 years, a murder-suicide which left seven dead.

Several Australian media outlets are reporting Peter Miles, the grandfather, is a suspect - speculating he shot his six family members before turning the gun on himself.

Katrina Miles' body was found alongside those of her three sons and one daughter, who she homeschooled, early on Friday morning, news.com.au reported.

Police would not comment on the possibility of murder-suicide, but said they are not looking for a suspect. When the police arrived at the residence, they discovered the bodies of three adults and four children.

Two adult victims were found outside the residence, and the rest of the victims were inside the home.

Commissioner Dawson described the murder as a "horrific incident".

The dead include four children aged between 13 and eight.

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"We will investigate this disgusting crime", said Dawson, noting that this event is "a awful tragedy".

Katrina Miles and her four children. Instead, Western Australia authorities are referring to what may have been a domestic incident as a "mass shooting".

He said police knew whose phone the call was made from but would not confirm whether it was Mr Miles.

"While we have come to some preliminary conclusions, I'm satisfied that from the briefing I've received from the homicide detectives as to the circumstances regarding that". The call lasted two minutes.

The unnamed relatives of the Miles family said they were "still trying to understand how this could happen".

"Police are now responding to what I can only describe as a horrific incident", he said.

After that attack, the government banned assault rifles, launched a firearm buyback programme and imposed tight gun registration laws.

"Many people who know the family are deeply feeling the loss and the community understandably do want answers". Mrs Miles has been a stalwart in the sustainability community, volunteering with the local Transition Network and leading recycling initiatives including Cynda's Soft Salvage.

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