Seven people found dead with gunshot wounds in Australia

Bodies of three adults and four children found near tourist town of Margaret River

Police Commissioner Chris Dawson addresses the media in Perth, Australia. Photograph: Rebecca Le May/Reuters

Police Commissioner Chris Dawson addresses the media in Perth, Australia. Photograph: Rebecca Le May/Reuters

 

Seven people have been found dead with gunshot wounds at a property near the tourist town of Margaret River in Australia’s southwest on Friday, police said.

The bodies of three adults and four children were found at a property at the village of Osmington, Western Australia state Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said.

Two guns were also found at the property.

Police were called to the house at around 5.15am local time and officers have no concerns about wider public safety, Mr Dawson added.

He said: “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.”

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

This could be the worst mass shooting in Australia since a lone gunman killed 35 in Tasmania in 1996, prompting the nation to introduce tough gun controls.

Australia’s gun laws are widely acclaimed as a success, with supporters including former US president Barack Obama saying Australia has not had a single mass shooting since they were implemented.

The generally accepted definition of a mass shooting — four deaths excluding the shooter in a single event — has been met only once in Australia since then in 2014 when a farmer shot his wife and three children before killing himself.

–PA