West Australian Police have given new updates following the deadly mass shooting in rural Western Australia on Friday.
Speaking to media at a press conference on Saturday, Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said he wanted to give the public an update in relation to the crimes that occurred near Margaret River. He said support had been provided to people in the local community, while investigations surrounding what exactly happened are ongoing.
He told media that the family was deeply connected to the town and said police were still someway from completing the investigation. The investigation of the crime scene would still take several days.
“The formal identification of the seven bodies has not yet been completed,” he said. “I can say that we believed the three adults and four children are all from the same family. While formal identification is yet to be completed, police believe the deceased to be Peter John Miles, 61 years, Cynda Miles, 58 years, Katrina Miles, 35 years.”
He said Katrina was the mother of four children including a 13-year-old girl, a 12-year-old boy, a 10-year-old boy and an eight-year-old boy.
In addition to information provided in Friday’s media conference, he said only one victim was found outside, while a female adult was found dead inside the main house. A female adult and four children were found dead in a converted shed.
.@WA_Police Commissioner Chris Dawson: I wish to clarify that only one body was found outside the buildings. Officers also located three firearms at the location, each of which are licensed to Peter Miles.
— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) May 12, 2018
Dawson confirmed three firearms were found at the property, all licenced to Peter Miles. He also emphasised police didn’t think anyone else was involved in the crimes and that they weren’t searching for other suspects. Having said that, he urged public with any information to contact police.
He said the family hadn’t yet issued a public statement and said they were coming to terms with the news.
Dawson elaborated on the 000 call that was made on Friday morning.
“What I will confirm is that at 05:15am yesterday morning, police received a triple zero emergency call from a male person,” he said. “We know where the call was made from, we know who’s phone the call was made from. I’ve listened to the message. I’ve been briefed by the homicide officers. While we’ve come to some preliminary conclusions, I’m satisfied on the briefing I’ve received from the homicide detectives as to the circumstances regarding that, but because we have some forensic and technical elements still underway, I’m not prepared to go any further than that.”
He said police thought the call was made from the property, but said it was a “complex criminal investigation”.
“We are treating this as a matter in which six persons are subject of a homicide crime scene,” he continued. “There is a seventh person deceased. It’s far too premature to come to any conclusive statement about that.”
He said two officers attended the scene as soon as possible but found seven people dead. Dawson said he wouldn’t reveal any further information about the phone call made. He also declined to say if all three weapons were used in the murders. Once detectives have completed the investigation, the matter will be put before the state coroner.
Family is currently being supported and are helping police with their investigations.
“I will confirm the three firearms located at the scene, all the victims suffered gunshot wounds,” he said.
He also said the father of the children has been contacted and that police were helping him during this difficult time.
Shire of Augusta Margaret River President Pam Townshend also spoke at the conference, offering her condolences to the family.
“I am absolutely devastated that this has happened in our community,” she said. “It’s such a small community and it will have such a huge effect. It’s already had such a huge effect. In this community, we’re so well-connected.”
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