Australia’s Deadliest Mass Shooting In Decades Leaves Seven Dead

Ryan Pickrell | China/Asia Pacific Reporter

An apparent murder-suicide in Australia — the country’s deadliest mass shooting in over two decades — left seven dead Friday, according to local reports.

The bodies of three adults and four children, all of which were reportedly related and lived together, were found at a property in rural Osmington, according to Western Australia Police Commissioner Chris Dawson, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported. Two firearms were also found at the scene.

The bodies were those of Peter and Cynda Miles, their daughter Katrina Miles and her four children, according to a friend of the deceased.

The case is particularly unusual given Australia’s strict gun laws, which are often pointed to as examples for other countries struggling to prevent mass shootings. Former President Barack Obama was reportedly an enthusiastic supporter of Australia’s gun laws, which were implemented after a terrible shooting in the 1990s.

Since the 1996 Port Arthur massacre, which left 35 dead and another 23 wounded in Tasmania, the country has only experienced one other so-called mass shooting — a man murdered his wife and three children before killing himself in 2014.

The worst mass shooting in U.S. history occurred in Las Vegas in 2017, when a gunman killed roughly 60 people and injured several hundred others. (RELATED: Massacre At Mandalay: Las Vegas Gunman Kills At Least 58 At Country Music Concert). While some in the U.S. 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.

A mass shooting is generally acknowledged as one in which at least four people are killed.

“Police are currently responding to what I can only describe as a horrific incident,” Dawson explained to reporters, according to The Associated Press. “This devastating tragedy will no doubt have a lasting impact on the families concerned, the whole community and, in particular, the local communities in our southwest.”

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