Seven die in Australia's worst shooting for 22 years

Frederick Owens
May 14, 2018

One woman was located dead inside the main house, while another woman and four children were discovered inside a converted shed.

The generally accepted definition of a mass shooting - four deaths excluding the shooter in a single event - has been met only once in Australia since then.

"'Shocking' is about the only word", resident Felicity Haynes told 9 News Australia. I don't feel angry. "That couldn't happen here".

"Police are now responding to what I can only describe as a horrific incident", Western Australia Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said at a press conference Friday afternoon.

Their grandfather Peter Miles, 61, was found with what police are investigating as a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

"I'm not going to put a timeframe on that", Mr Dawson said.

Peter Miles, the children's grandfather and Cockman's father-in-law, was also found dead on the property from suspected suicide. She was my friend. "It's not fair. It's not fair", she said.

The Osmington incident was Australia's worst mass shooting since Tasmania's Port Arthur massacre in 1996, where lone gunman Martin Bryant killed 35 people.

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Following that incident Australia imposed strict gun laws which saw gun crime drop dramatically. "Police are not searching for any other suspects".

The United States has more guns per capita than any other nation in the world, with about four in 10 Americans saying they either own a firearm or live in a household with guns, according to a 2017 study conducted by the Pew Research Center. "It has been quite somber since; a few people I saw who knew the family were absolutely gutted".

"I still love who Peter was", he said. Gun owners here always have been a powerful lobby, but they were surprisingly ineffective this time, despite support from the U.S. National Rifle Association.

"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".

In an editorial past year, the Age said it respected citizens' rights but that there are "some freedoms that have no place in a civilised society, and none more so than the carrying of illegal firearms".

Police were called before dawn to a residence in the village of Osmington, some 13 miles northeast of Margaret River and 170 miles south of Perth.

Western Australia state Premier Mark McGowan, who travelled to Margaret River on Sunday, said he did not think gun laws could be further tightened but he would await recommendations from a coronial inquiry into the shootings. Neighbors reported that the children were home-schooled there.

Miles also had been lining up farm maintenance work with a neighbour in Osmington, and was scheduled to meet up with him on Saturday morning at 10am.

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