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Floreat shooting: Man who killed mum, daughter then himself was looking for his ex-wife

Rebecca Le MayThe West Australian
A man who fatally shot a mother and daughter at a Floreat home was looking for his ex-wife and known to police, taking his own life after committing the horrific crime.
Camera IconA man who fatally shot a mother and daughter at a Floreat home was looking for his ex-wife and known to police, taking his own life after committing the horrific crime. Credit: Ross Swanborough

A man who fatally shot a mother and daughter at a Floreat home was looking for his ex-partner and known to police, taking his own life after committing the horrific crime.

Dozens of police swarmed Berkeley Crescent about 4.30pm after a family member called to report someone had opened fire inside a house on the street.

Officers arrived just as the final shot was fired, finding the 63-year-old gunman had taken his own life and a 59-year-old woman dead nearby.

Her 18-year-old daughter was critically injured and given emergency treatment by paramedics before being taken to Royal Perth Hospital, where she remained in a critical condition on Friday night.

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But on Saturday morning, WA Police confirmed she had also died.

At a press conference on Saturday afternoon, Detective Inspector David Gorton of the major crime division said the man had arrived at the house about 10 minutes earlier, around 4.20pm.

The mother and the killer’s ex were “good friends”, and she either knew or had previously met the woman’s former husband, who was known to police but not being monitored.

“However, there doesn’t appear to be any history of violence,” Det Insp Gorton said.

“We’re not treating this as a family violence matter.

“Obviously, we’ll still be preparing a report for the coroner in relation to all of the circumstances surrounding this and whether or not the relationships formed part of this incident.”

On the alarm being raised, he said police were “still reviewing those particular calls and how they came to know what was going on at the house”.

The detective said the firearm was licensed and would not be drawn if the man was subject to any restraining order.

Detective Inspector David Gorton – Major Crime Division speaks to the media.
Camera IconDetective Inspector David Gorton – Major Crime Division speaks to the media. Credit: Jackson Flindell/The West Australian

While neighbours said another adult daughter lived at the address, Det Insp Gorton would only confirm: “All the family members have been accounted for”.

He was also asked about the ex-partner.

“We had the ex-wife and one of the daughters in our care at homicide squad last night.

“We are providing any support we can to them.

“Obviously, they’re very distressed by the circumstances and WA police will make the appropriate referrals to them for counselling.”

The detective said evidence had been collected from the scene as part of the ongoing investigation, with ballistics experts still determining how many shots had been fired.

One neighbour described the family as “just normal, lovely professional people”.

“There were a couple of different cars there today (parked at the house),” they said.

Another neighbour, David, said his daughter heard gunshots from his backyard while she was outside playing with their dog.

“She heard the gunshots and then she ran inside and locked the doors and waited until we got home. She said she just knew they were gunshots,” he said.

“I think she said it was three or four shots.

“We know the family (at that address) reasonably well and just hope they are OK.

“People in this area are really nice and friendly.”

Police forensics and detectives at a home on Berkeley Cresent, in Floreat, Perth.
Camera IconPolice forensics and detectives at a home on Berkeley Cresent, in Floreat, Perth. Credit: Ross Swanborough/The West Australian
A fatal shooting at a Floreat home on Friday afternoon left two women and the male offender dead.
Camera IconA fatal shooting at a Floreat home on Friday afternoon left two women and the male offender dead. Credit: Ross Swanborough/The West Australian

Another neighbour in the street — who was close to the family and did not want to be named — said he was shaken up.

“They’re lovely people, and now we’re working out how to explain what’s happened to our daughters,” he said.

The street was cordoned off between Kirkdale Avenue and Linden Gardens as police responded.

A police spokeswoman said on Friday night that the incident had been contained and there were no ongoing threats to the public.

“WA Police will continue to provide support and assistance to the family, friends and first responders affected by this tragic incident,” the Force said in a statement on Saturday.

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