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.

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