The scene of the worst mass shooting in more than 20 years in the country was the home of Cynda and Peter Miles in Osmington, a village near the tourist town of Margaret River, 170 miles south of Perth. Police was alerted to the shooting by a phone call from a “male person.”
Crime-scene and homicide detectives traveled from Perth to investigate. “The loss of any life is tragic, but the loss of four children and three adults – this is a significant tragedy,” Chris Dawson, commissioner of the Western Australia Police, said at a news conference. Experts typically define a mass shooting as the deaths of four people, excluding the gunman, in a single event. Cynda Miles worked for a local community group. All the children were autists. They died with their mother and grandparents. Police are now trying to make contact with the relatives of the deceased. Osmington has a population of just 135 and mostly consists of farming properties and vineyards. “This will be a very large-scale and detailed investigation,” authorities informed media. Australia’s gun laws are widely acclaimed as a success. Automatic and semi-automatic rifles and shotguns are banned from public ownership.