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Australia's First Mass Shooting In Two Decades Leaves Seven Dead

Australia's First Mass Shooting In Two Decades Leaves Seven Dead

"Police are now responding to what I can only describe as a horrific incident", Western Australia state police commissioner Chris Dawson told the Associated Press. He added that the victims had gunshot wounds and bodies of five victims - the four children and one adult - were found inside the shed.

Peter Miles had a farm maintenance business and drew praise from clients for his work, while Cynda had also recently started a craft business that was developing a loyal following.

Police do not believe that there is a "larger threat to public safety", perhaps suggesting that the shooter was one of the people found dead.

The motive behind what has become the worst mass shooting in Australian history since the 1996 Port Arthur massacre, remains unknown.

Osmington is a collection of a few streets, farms, holiday accommodation and vineyards supplying the premium wine-making district known as Margaret River.

They found firearms at the crime scene.

Now, police and forensic investigators are combing the property for clues as to how the tragic events unfolded.

Commissioner Dawson announced the discovery at a media conference in Perth, describing the deaths as a "horrific incident".

The police entered the rural home of Cynda and Peter Miles, the grandparents, a little after 5:00 a.m. and found the seven people shot, according to Australia's ABC.

Police were attempting to make contact with victims' relatives, Mr Dawson said.

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WA police chief commissioner Chris Dawson.

Prior to this incident, the worst mass shooting - defined as a shooting involving five or more victims - since Port Arthur involved a man killing himself and four members of his family on a rural New South Wales property in Lockhart in 2014. While some in the USA have argued in favor of gun regulations similar to those of Australia, others have argued America's situation is different, indicating alternative solutions are necessary to prevent mass shootings in the U.S.

Most recently Democratic representative Eric Swalwell (Calif.) penned an op-ed calling for a gun confiscation scheme similar to Australia's in the United States.

The ages of the children were not released.

Libby Mettam, a local parliamentarian, said the deaths had sent "significant shockwaves" through the town and the community was hurting.

Proud locals say people go there to retire or bask in a rural paradise.

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

"We live in a handsome sleepy part of Margaret River and the last thing you would expect is something like this".

"This is a much-loved family, a big part of the Margaret River community", she told ABC News. "I just feel sick to the stomach".


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