Australia investigating seven deaths in mass shooting

Detectives from the major crimes squad headed to a rural property in Osmington this morning 20km north east of Margaret River

Detectives from the major crimes squad headed to a rural property in Osmington this morning 20km north east of Margaret River

The three adults, according to reports, were a mother and two grandparents.

Police are treating the incident as a murder-suicide and have confirmed they are not looking for any suspects.

Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said all seven victims appeared to be residents of the property, which consists of a house and shed that had been converted to living quarters.

Before the call to police, neighbours heard the unmistakable sound of gunshots.

Police were called to the property in Osmington, West Australia, about 5.15am local time, and found the bodies of Cynda Miles, and Katrina Miles and her children, aged eight to 13. Commissioner Dawson said investigators will be at the scene "for days". He declined to release the names or ages of the dead.

The call to triple-0 was recorded and reportedly made by the killer, but that's all police would reveal about the tip off to the tragic events at the idyllic farm.

It is now the scene of one of the worst Australian shooting crimes in recent memory.

The laws have been considered a success, with only one "mass shooting" occurring since then - a 2014 murder-suicide in which a farmer shot and killed his wife and his three children before turning the gun on himself.

The Post's Kevin Sullivan reported that the 1996 massacre had united Australians on the gun debate.

Terror struck a rural property near Margaret River in Western Australia.

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Samantha Lee, chair of the Gun Control Australia lobby group, said rural areas were over-represented in Australian gun deaths, including suicides.

Detectives from the Homicide Squad and Forensic Crime Scene Unit have travelled to the scene as part of the investigation.

Police said they have no information that would raise concerns about wider public safety, suggesting a shooter is not at large.

"It appears that gunshot wounds are there, but I don't want to go further than that as two firearms have been located", Dawson said. All weapons must be registered, although many arrive illegally from overseas through organised syndicates.

In 1996, a lone gunman killed 35 people and injured 23 in Tasmania state, prompting Australia to adopt tough gun control laws.

"You can imagine this warm, motherly person who's always smiling", she said, "always generous and brings fresh baked scones to everything".

"They were a very socially-aware family, doing their best to create a safe community, and that is why it is so shocking to think that could be destroyed so quickly".

The police have yet to publicly identify the victims.

Pamela Townsend, president of the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River, said the deaths have impacted everyone in the community. A family friend stated that the children were homeschooled for they were diagnosed with Autism, The New York Times reports.

Felicity Haynes, a former local councillor, who lives next to the property where the incident took place, said the family involved had moved in just three years earlier and were "caring neighbours".

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