Man, 63, fatally shot friend of ex-wife before killing himself at home in Perth’s west, police say

<span>Three people are dead after a shooting at a home in Floreat in Perth’s western suburbs on Friday.</span><span>Photograph: Aaron Bunch/AAP</span>
Three people are dead after a shooting at a home in Floreat in Perth’s western suburbs on Friday.Photograph: Aaron Bunch/AAP

A man has shot and killed a woman and her teenaged daughter in a west Perth home before turning the gun on himself in an apparent murder-suicide, police say.

The 63-year-old man is alleged to have gone to the house in Berkeley Crescent, Floreat just before 4.30pm on Friday looking for his ex-wife, who was not at the house.

Instead, police allege, he found a friend of his ex-wife, a 59-year-old woman, and her 18-year-old daughter. Police said the man discharged a firearm, killing the older woman and critically injuring her daughter before killing himself.

When police responded to reports of gunshots being fired in the house, they found two people dead at the house – the man and the older woman.

The teenager was taken to Royal Perth hospital with critical injuries, but she later died, police said.

A neighbour, who spoke to the ABC, described their shock at the incident.

“I drove down that street and the police were more or less outside my house,” the man said. “I was think thinking, ‘wow, this is my house’. It’s a bit shocking. We know our neighbours. They are good people.”

Police said there was no ongoing threat to the public.

Homicide detectives were continuing their investigations into the deaths.

Western Australia police Det Insp David Gorton told a press conference the man held a firearms licence and was known to police.

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

It was unclear how many shots were fired in total, Gorton said. Police had arrived at Berkeley Crescent by the time the last shot was fired at about 4.30pm, with the man having arrived at the house just 10 minutes earlier.

“We believe that last shot was the male taking his own life,” Gorton said. “We still have ballistic technicians at the scene. At this stage, we’re really unsure about how many shots were fired.

“These are distressing circumstances and police will continue to provide support to the first responders, families and friends of all those involved in this incident.”

Gorton said the man’s ex-wife and an older daughter of the deceased woman were in the care of police on Friday 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.”

Related: Almost 30% spike in rate of Australian women killed by intimate partner last year, data shows

The shooting occurred a street away from the office of the independent federal MP for Curtin, Kate Chaney, who said the death needed to be seen in the context of widespread and sustained violence against women across Australia.

“Police are still investigating and details are still coming to light. I won’t be speculating on what might have happened,” Chaney said.

“What I can say, and what has been confirmed, is that two more women have had their lives cut short by a man with a gun.

“Their deaths are a reminder that violence against women can occur in any – and every – community. Every four days a woman is killed by a man in Australia.”

Chaney said women in her community “feel exhausted and furious about seeing yet more women dying”.

“Enough is enough. Men must stop killing women.”

• In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14 and the national family violence counselling service is on 1800 737 732. In the UK, Samaritans can be contacted on freephone 116 123 and the domestic abuse helpline is 0808 2000 247. In the US, the suicide prevention lifeline is 988 and the domestic violence hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Other international helplines can be found via