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Australia shooting victims 3 generations of same family: police

AFP  |  Sydney 

Three generations of a single family were identified Saturday as the victims of Australia's worst in 22 years, a murder-suicide which left seven people dead.

They included Katrina Miles, 35, and her four children -- three boys and a girl aged eight to 13 -- who were found Friday in a shed on a rural property near the wine region in Western Australia, police said.

Miles' mother Cynda Miles, 58, was found in the main house at the property and her father Peter Miles, 61, was found outside, told reporters.

Three firearms licensed to were also found, he said. Police had earlier reported finding just two guns.

Confirming suggestions of a murder-suicide, Dawson added: "I wish to strongly emphasise that police do not believe any other person is involved in these crimes. Police are not searching for any other suspects."

Mass shootings are uncommon in and Friday's was the deadliest since a 1996 massacre that left 35 dead at in

After that attack, the government banned assault rifles, launched a mass firearm buyback program and imposed tight gun registration laws.

Dawson said it was too early to confirm which member of the family was the shooter,

He would only say police were alerted to the shootings by a phone call from a "male person" at the property, who was apparently the killer.

Felicity Haynes, who lives on a neighbouring property, told broadcaster the family involved were "caring neighbours".

"They were a very socially aware family, doing their best to create a safe community, and that is why it is so shocking," she said.

posts by Katrina and Cynda Miles, quoted by local media, referred to the children as all being autistic and homeschooled.

The shooting happened in the small town of Osmington, close to Margaret River, a popular tourist destination renowned for its wine, surf and natural beauty.

A neighbour told newspaper she was woken by gunfire about 4:00 am Friday morning (2000 GMT Thursday), but thought it was someone shooting kangaroos, which are numerous in the area.

"It wasn't until I saw the police that I thought, 'Hang on a minute'," told the newspaper. "(The shots) were separated out, there was quite a long gap between them.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, May 12 2018. 10:50 IST