Seven people, including four children, were found dead from gunshot wounds at a rural property in Western Australia on Friday, the police said. Two firearms were also recovered from the scene.
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.