Australian Authorities Investigating 7 Deaths in Worst Mass Shooting in Over 20 Years

Seven people, including four children, were found dead with gunshot wounds on Friday.

Australian police investigating a crim

Image via Getty/The Sydney Morning Herald

Australian police investigating a crim

Australian authorities are currently investigating what appears to be the country’s deadliest mass shooting in over 20 years, Associated Press reports

Seven people—four children and three adults—were found dead with gunshot wounds on Friday at a rural property in Osmington, Western Australia. All seven of those found dead lived on the property, authorities said. Two guns were also found on the scene.

Per the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the police are viewing the incident as a murder-suicide and have yet to publicly identify the victims.

“Police are currently responding to what I can only describe as a horrific incident,” said Western Australia state Police Commissioner Chris Dawson. He continued, “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.”

Australia’s most recent mass shooting occurred in 1996, when a gunman killed 35 people and wounded 23 in Tasmania. After the incident, the country authorized strict gun control law and a gun buyback program. 

Former President Barack Obama has used Australia’s gun laws as an example for gun control reform in the U.S. following a 2015 shooting at an Oregon's Umpqua Community College. The U.S.’s worst mass shooting took place in Las Vegas in October, where almost 60 people were killed and over 500 injured.

“We know that other countries in response to one mass shooting have managed to craft laws that almost eliminate mass shootings. Friends of ours, allies of ours, Great Britain, Australia, countries like ours," Obama said. “So we know there are ways to prevent it.”

Latest in Life