Aussie shooting: Dead kids' father speaks out

Mr Aaron Cockman had split from Ms Katrina Miles, which led her and their children to move in with her parents.
Mr Aaron Cockman had split from Ms Katrina Miles, which led her and their children to move in with her parents.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

SYDNEY • The father of four murdered children spoke out yesterday as details emerged of the mass shooting that killed three generations of the same family on a farm in the Margaret River wine-growing region in rural south-west Australia.

The bodies of four young children along with three adults were found by police just after 6am local time last Friday at the farm in Osmington, a tiny town of 135 people on the south-west tip of Western Australia (WA).

The tragedy is being treated as a murder-suicide and WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson told a press conference on Saturday that they are not looking for any suspects.

Police have named the dead as property owner and grandfather Peter Miles, 61, his wife, Cynda, 58, their daughter, Ms Katrina Miles, 35, and her four children, Taye, 13, Rylan, 12, Ayre, 10, and Kadyn Cockman, eight.

The father of the children, Mr Aaron Cockman, a local carpenter and builder, had been involved in an acrimonious split with Ms Miles, which led her and the children to move in with her parents.

Mr Cockman told a press conference yesterday that he had been full of anger after Peter and Cynda Miles cut him off from seeing his children.

"The anger towards them now is completely gone. Completely gone. I don't feel angry. I feel tremendous sadness for my kids," he said. "I'm tremendously sad, but I'll get through this."

Mr Cockman said police had told him the children had died peacefully, with Kaydin in his mother's bed. "All the kids died peacefully in their beds," he said.

Police seized three firearms from the scene last Friday, all "long-arm" weapons licensed to Mr Peter Miles. Long-arm weapons are shot from the shoulder, such as rifles or shotguns and are common on farms.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 14, 2018, with the headline 'Aussie shooting: Dead kids' father speaks out'. Print Edition | Subscribe