7 shot dead in Australia’s worst mass shooting in 22 years


Police in Australia have recovered the bodies of seven people, who were found dead with gunshot wounds at a property near a town in the country’s southwest. 
According to West Australian Police Commissioner Chris Dawson, seven people were found dead at a property near the tourist town of Margaret River on Friday, in what could be the country's worst mass shooting in 22 years. 
He added that the bodies of three adults and four children and two guns were found at the rural property in Osmington village.
Dawson added that the bodies of two adults were found outside a building on the property and the rest were found inside.
He said that they all resided at the property, but that the police have no information to raise concerns about wider public safety. 
Dawson said that the police were led to the property by a phone call before dawn but refused to comment on the possibility of murder-suicide or the identity of the caller.
Addressing reporters, Dawson said, "Police are currently responding to what I can only describe as a horrific incident. 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.”
He added that the police were now attempting to make contact with the victims' relatives but that the police would not release the names or ages of the dead.
Officials also did not reveal how the victims died, but Dawson said, "It appears that gunshot wounds are there.”
He said, “I don't want to go further than that. This is a tragedy – I don't think any other words can describe how tragic this is. This devastating tragedy will no doubt have a lasting impact on the families concerned, the whole community and in particular the local community in the South West.”
So far, the police also haven’t revealed whether there was more than one shooter.
Previously, an incident in Tasmania state in 1996 was dubbed the worst mass shooting in Australia, in which a lone gunman killed 35 people in Port Arthur, prompting the nation to introduce tough gun controls.
The gun laws introduced then were widely acclaimed as a success by gun control activists across the world and even by the former U.S. President Barack Obama, who has stated previously that Australia hasn't had a single mass shooting since the gun laws were implemented.
Since the laws were introduced, Australia has faced only one mass shooting, in 2014, when a farmer shot his wife and three children before killing himself.
A mass shooting is generally defined as having four deaths excluding the shooter in a single event.
While automatic and semi-automatic rifles and shotguns are banned from public ownership in Australia, farmers are allowed to own guns under Australian law because they have a legitimate need to use them to kill feral pests and predators or sick or injured livestock. 
According to reports, Australia bought back or confiscated 1 million firearms after passing the tough gun laws and there has been a considerable drop in the number of gun deaths.



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