Investigation continues into Osmington shooting deaths

Katrina Miles and her four children.
Katrina Miles and her four children.

Police have confirmed that they believe the identities of the seven people found deceased at an Osmington property on Friday morning include three generations of the Miles family.

At a media conference held at the Margaret River Police Station on Saturday morning, WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said the formal identification process was still continuing.

Police Commissioner Chris Dawson and Shire President Pam Townshend

Police Commissioner Chris Dawson and Shire President Pam Townshend

“The investigation into the suspicious deaths of seven people, four of them children, is ongoing,” he said. 

“Formal identification is still ongoing, however I can say that the three adults and four children are all from the same family.

“Given the information that is already in the public, I wish to confirm that police believe the deceased to be Peter John Miles, 61 years, Cynda Miles, 58 years, Katrina Miles, 35 years – mother to the following four children.”

Cynda Miles, believed to have been one of the people found at the Osmington property.

Cynda Miles, believed to have been one of the people found at the Osmington property.

Commissioner Dawson then read the names and ages of the children lost in the tragedy – Katrina’s daughter Taye Cockman (13) and sons Rylan (12), Ayre (10) and Kayden Cockman (8). 

We are stunned and still trying to understand how this could happen. We respectfully ask that the community refrain from speculating on the circumstances surrounding this tragic incident.

Miles Family representative

Members of the Miles family released a statement on Saturday afternoon, asking the community to refrain from speculating on the incident. 

“We are devastated by this shocking event. We are stunned and still trying to understand how this could happen.

“We respectfully ask that the community refrain from speculating on the circumstances surrounding this tragic incident.

“We thank the community for their support and ask that our privacy is respected as we grieve.”

Commissioner Dawson said the examination of the crime scene would another several days.

“We know that the members of this family were deeply connected to the town of Margaret River.

“Many people who know the family are deeply feeling the loss, and the community, understandably, do want answers.

“Police are some way from completing their investigations and all the information that we need to get to perform our duty on behalf of the state coroner.

“I wish to clarify a few additional points from yesterday’s media release – only one victim was found outside the buildings. 

“A female adult was found inside the main house, and five people were found deceased in what I would describe as a converted shed structure – a female adult and four children.”

“I also can now confirm that police have recovered three firearms at the location and all three firearms are licensed to Peter Miles.”

The Commissioner said he was in the region to provide support to local police, investigators and first responders who attended the scene of the shooting.

“It’s very important that we do provide that support – I know that my officers here are dealing with a very tragic scene.

Also speaking at the media conference was Shire President Pam Townshend, who spoke of the pain felt throughout the regional community. 

““I offer my condolences to the family and the community,” Ms Townshend said. 

“I’m devastated that this tragedy has happened in this community, and in such a small community.

“It has a huge effect. In this community we are all so well-connected.

Ms Townshend said the Shire and State Government would be providing community crisis care and counselling as well as a central location for tributes, reflection and remembrance.

“We ask the community that if they want to offer flowers, cards, or any other item of their choosing, there is an opportunity to leave them at the Church Gallery and the Margaret River Community Resource Centre.

“If families would like to come, we are providing this area which is a place where the community can reflect and offer their condolences.

“Skilled volunteers, along with a range of agencies and professionals will be available to offer their support.”

Community support services

Community support services will be available at the Church Gallery at the Margaret River Community Resource Centre at the following times:

1pm – 3pm, Saturday 12 May

1pm – 3pm, Sunday 13 May

1pm – 3pm, Monday 14 May

Members of the community affected by the tragedy can meet with support workers free-of-charge, or may choose to attend the location to gather with friends, family and fellow community members.

Children are welcome to be included in counselling sessions, or short-term childcare support can be provided while other family members seek welfare support.

Early next week the Shire will consider any additional welfare and community support requirements and the public will be updated as to details of these arrangements at the earliest opportunity.

Tributes

Anyone who is wishing to place a tribute for the family is invited place their items on the verandah of the Church Gallery at the Margaret River Community Resource Centre.

Community support contact information

Should you be unable to attend the Church Gallery community support sessions, or choose to seek support independently, please note the following services are available:

  • Lifeline – 13 11 14
  • Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467
  • Beyond Blue – 1300 224 636
  • Headspace  - 1800 650 890
  • Rural Link - 1800 522 002
  • Alcohol and Drug Support Line – 1800 198 024

Local contacts:

  • Margaret River Surgery - 9757 2766
  • Margaret River Medical Centre - 9757 2733
  • Margaret River Hospital - 9757 0400
  • Margaret River Community Mental Health Services - 9757 3547
  • Margaret River Senior High School Student Services - 9757 0795
  • Willmott Health and Wellbeing - 9757 2677
  • South West Community Alcohol and Drug Service - Suicide Prevention - 9721 9256
  • South West Counselling Services - 9754 2052
  • Lamp Margaret River - 9754 1834
  • Margaret River Community Centre (Financial Emergency Relief) - 9757 3200