A mother and her four children are dead along with two other adults after a mass shooting tragedy in Western Australia.

Police found the bodies of Katrina Miles and her four children, aged between 8 and 13, at the home in Osmington, Margaret River. The terrible discovery came after a phone call to police at 5.15am on Friday.

Three guns were also found at the family farm, which belonged to Ms Miles’ parents, Cynda and Peter Miles. They are also dead. All seven are believed to have “gunshot wounds”, police say.

Ms Miles’ body and the bodies of her children, were found inside a shed on the property that had been converted to living quarters. The children – Taye, 13, Rylan, 11, Arye, 10, and Kadyn Cockman, 8 – all had autism. They moved to their grandparents’ farm with their mum after the breakdown of her marriage to their father.

WA mass shooting victims Katrina Miles and family
Grandfather Peter Miles with wife Cynda, daughter Katrina and his four grandchildren. Image via 9 News

There is no suggestion that the children’s father, builder Aaron Cockman, had any knowledge of or involvement in the shootings.

Friends have described Ms Miles as a devoted mother to her children, who “worked tirelessly to provide them with everything they needed”, according to media reports.

“I always admired her for her strength. The kids were kind, gentle, smart and beautiful children,” the friend told reporters.

‘We are devastated’

Police are treating the terrible event as a murder-suicide, but are not looking for any suspects. Shocked relatives have released a statement to the media.

“We are devastated by this shocking event,” the statement read. “We are stunned and still trying to understand how this could happen.

“We respectfully ask that the community refrain from speculating on the circumstances surrounding this tragic incident.

“We thank the community for their support and ask that our privacy is respected as we grieve.”

Cynda Miles (left) and daughter Katrina Miles

Police describe mass shooting as  ‘significant tragedy’

WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson earlier described the shock events as a “significant tragedy”. It is Australia’s worst mass shooting in more than 20 years.

“The loss of any life is tragic, but four children and three adults… This is a significant tragedy,” he told a press conference on Friday.

“Police are currently responding to what I can only describe as an horrific incident in Osmington, 20km north-east of Margaret River.

“It is early in this investigation. Based on what we do know, this is clearly a tragedy.

“This devastating tragedy will no doubt have a lasting impact on the families concerned, the whole community and, in particular, the local communities in our south-west.”

Homicide Squad detectives are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of seven people in Osmington, near…

Posted by Western Australia Police Force on Thursday, May 10, 2018

 

Mum Central understands that Homicide detectives have travelled to the property from Perth and the forensic investigation will take days or weeks.

Forever Dreaming site of WA mass shooting

Miles family shot at Forever Dreaming farm WA
The family farm near Margaret River in WA where the mass shooting happened

Ms Miles’ parents bought the rural property in 2014 and dreamed of running it as a sustainable farm for their daughter and grandchildren. They called it ‘Forever Dreaming’.

“This is a complex criminal investigation. We’re treating this as a matter in which clearly six persons are the subject of a homicide,” Commissioner Dawson said, on Saturday,

“A seventh person is deceased. It is far too premature to come to any conclusive statement about that.”

People needing help with emotional difficulties can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

If you have been touched by this tragedy or need help with grief, counsellors are available at Griefline on 1300 845 745.

Author

Mum Central Editor Nikki is a former news journalist who used to spend her days chasing shady types around town ... until she had kids and went all soft on the inside. She now spends her days cajoling her kids to pick up their damn Lego and eat more fruit.

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