Family lost to evil act
SEVEN members of the same family, including four children, have been shot dead in Australia’s worst mass shooting in more than two decades.
Cynda and Peter Miles are believed to have died at their farm, named Forever Dreaming, in Osmington near Margaret River, Western Australia, yesterday.
Their daughter Katrina and her four children – Taye, 13, Rylan, 11, Arye, 10, and Kadyn Cockman, 8 – were also killed.
All five were found dead in a shed, which had been converted into living quarters.
Police discovered the bodies when they were called to the property just after 5am yesterday. WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said the person who made the call was a man.
Police were last night working on a theory that the man who made that call was the killer and among the dead.
Two firearms were found by officers confronted by the appalling scene. Within hours, police said they were looking for no one else in connection to the tragedy.
Commissioner Dawson said the incident was one of the worst the force would ever have to deal with.
“The loss of any life is tragic, but four children and three adults, this is a significant tragedy,” he said.
“This devastating tragedy will no doubt have a lasting impact on the families concerned, the whole community and in particular the communities in the southwest.
“These tragedies take their toll on everybody.”
WA Premier Mark McGowan said the tragedy was “appalling”.
“This is a very distressing day for Western Australia,” Mr McGowan said.
Margaret River shire president Pamela Townshend said the family was well known and well liked in the area.
“This incident has shocked our community to the core,” she said. “As a small and close-knit community, many people are likely to know or be connected in some way to the deceased. What happened today will have a huge ripple effect across our community.”
Cynda and Peter Miles were well known in the Margaret River area – she for her extensive community involvement and he for his long-standing and successful farm maintenance business.
Katrina was also known locally and her four children had been or were students at Margaret River Primary School. They had also been home schooled.
All four are believed to have been autistic.
Their father Aaron Cockman was a local carpenter and builder. It is understood the pair had been involved an acrimonious split.
Katrina Miles and her four children were among seven family members who died at Osmington in Western Australia yesterday.