Three guns found at the scene of Australia’s worst gun crime since the Port Arthur massacre belonged to the grandfather of the four murdered children.
Police in Western Australia have confirmed that seven of the Miles family, well-known members of the Margaret River community in the state’s south-west, were found dead on a remote property on Friday morning.
They include Katrina Miles, 35, her four children aged eight to 13, and Katrina’s mother and father, Cynda and Peter Miles.
Police said they were not looking for a suspect, and were treating the shooting as a murder suicide. In a media briefing on Saturday, the WA police commissioner, Chris Dawson, confirmed that three guns were found on the property.
All three were registered to Peter Miles.
“I will confirm all seven deceased suffered gunshot wounds,” he said.
“We are treating this as a matter in which clearly six persons are the subject of a homicide crime scene.
“There is a seventh person deceased. It’s far too premature for me to come to any conclusive statement about that.”
He would not confirm reports that Peter Miles had called the police at 5.15am on Friday, shortly before his and his six relatives’ bodies were found.
Police had initially said that when officers arrived at the property, five bodies were found inside a building and two people were found outside.
However, on Saturday, Dawson said one woman was found inside the main house. Five people – including one woman and the four children – were found inside what he described as a “converted shed structure”. One man – Peter Miles – was found outside.
Katrina’s four children – Taye, Ryan, Ayre and Kadyn Cockman – were aged between eight and 13.
Dawson said police had been in contact with their father, a local carpenter named Aaron Cockman, who it is understood was estranged from Katrina.
“He’s understandably grieving,” Dawson said. “We’re providing him with as much support as we can.”
Police were called to the property in remote Osmington – about 20 kilometres outside of the holiday town of Margaret River – just after 5am on Friday. Dawson has confirmed it was a male caller. However he declined to confirm whether it was Peter Miles who made the call. He said it was believed the shootings occurred “overnight”.