Dad of kids killed in shooting says grandfather planned attack

By Kristine Phillips and Lindsey Bever | The Washington Post

The father of four children who were killed in a mass shooting that rattled a small Australian community said the siblings’ grandfather — believed to have carried out the killings in a murder-suicide — “didn’t snap.”

“He’s thought this through. I think he’s been thinking this through for a long time,” Aaron Cockman told reporters Sunday, referring to the grandfather, Peter Miles.

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“How the hell did Peter do that?” he added later. “I still can’t figure it out.”

Miles, 61; his wife, Cynda, 58; their daughter, Katrina, 35; and Katrina’s four children — Taye, 13, Rylan, 12, Ayre, 10, and Kayden, 8 — were found dead with gunshot wounds early Friday morning at a home in Osmington, a rural town nestled in Australia’s southwest corner. Western Australia Police Commissioner Chris Dawson did not explicitly say that Peter Miles killed his family before shooting himself. But he told reporters Saturday that only six of the seven family members were victims of a homicide, and police don’t believe any other person was involved.

Dawson also said police received an emergency call at 5:15 a.m. Friday. He said a man had made the call from the family’s property, but Dawson declined to elaborate further. Three guns — all registered to Peter Miles — were found at the house.

One of the deceased was found outside the house. Another, a woman, was found inside. The other five, a woman and the children, were found in a converted shed structure, Dawson said.

The deaths shocked Osmington, a community of only 135 people, and the nearby town of Margaret River, one of Western Australia’s surfing hot spots. Local officials said the Miles family was deeply connected to the community.

Cockman, who had been estranged from Katrina Miles for reasons that are unclear, said he saw his children during supervised visits. He told reporters that he’d spent years angry at Peter and Cynda Miles for cutting him off from his children.

“The anger towards them now is completely gone, completely gone. I don’t feel angry. I feel tremendous sadness for my kids. I don’t want anyone to feel angry,” he said.

Cockman said he used to get along well with Peter Miles, and he loved “who Peter was,” according to 9 News Australia. If it had not been for Peter Miles, he said, he wouldn’t have had his children.

“So it’s not some random guy off the street who’s taken them away from me. He gave them to me and now he’s taken them away,” the father said.

Cockman said he takes solace in knowing that his children died “peacefully in their beds.” He said he asked one of the investigators whether his youngest son, Kayden, was in the same bed as his mother when he died. The boy liked to sleep next to his mother, Cockman said.

“I was told, ‘Yes, he was …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World


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