Mass killer had already raised ‘red flags’

An exclusive report in The Australian has revealed how a grandfather who killed his four grandchildren, daughter and wife suffered from ‘severe depression and anxiety’ and had a violent family history that raised ‘red flags’ and led to a recommendation the children’s time with their grandparents be limited. Peter Miles shot his grandchildren Taye (13), Rylan (12), Arye (10) and eight-year-old Kayden, their mother Katrina and his wife Cynda before killing himself on the family property at Osmington near Margaret River south of Perth.

The report by Legal Affairs Correspondent Nicola Berkovic outlines how the grandfather also had significant stressors in his life including financial insecurity, according to the findings of the Coroner’s Court of WA. The Court has released four short records into the deaths of the children. The findings have not been released publicly but were sent to their father Aaron Cockman last month.

Berkovic wrote that the investigation concluded the children died from gunshots to the head inflicted by their grandfather by way of homicide. Their mother and grandmother were also shot dead before Miles dialled 000 and turned the gun on himself in Australia’s worst mass shooting since the Port Arthur massacre.

The Australian explained the children’s father has been fighting for a public inquest into the tragedy which he says would shine a light on the role he believes the Family Court of Western Australia played in placing the family under financial and emotional pressure. However, State Coroner Ros Fogliani has rejected his request.

The Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia would like to offer its support to Mr Cockman in his fight for a public inquest. Why wasn’t more done to prevent this tragedy? Why was there no police intervention into this volatile situation, including removing firearms from a perpetrator who had a violent family history and had displayed red flags?

SSAA would enforce the message that more needs to be done to prevent gun crimes. Police need to work harder to make sure family’s lives aren’t ripped apart instead of implementing restrictions which only impact law-abiding people who use firearms for sport and recreation.

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