‘A lot was done’: WA top cop defends police actions before woman, teen daughter murdered by estranged ex

Western Australia’s top cop has defended how the force responded to the concerns raised by the wife and daughter of double-murderer Mark Bombara prior to the horrific murder of a mother and her teenage daughter.

Mr Bombara, 62, shot Jennifer Petelczyc and her 18-year-old daughter Gretl dead in the leafy Perth suburb of Floreat last Friday.

He had gone to their property looking for his estranged wife but turned the gun on himself after killing Ms Petelczyc and her daughter.

news, australia, crime, tas news, wa news, ‘a lot was done’: wa top cop defends police actions before woman, teen daughter murdered by estranged ex

Jennifer Petelczyc and her 18-year-old daughter Gretl were murdered by Mark Bombara at their Floreat home, in Perth, last week. Supplied Credit: Supplied

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The horrific double murder-suicide has prompted anger over whether enough was done to protect Ms Bombara and her daughter Ariel.

Both had raised concerns about Mr Bombara’s violent demeanour prior to the shooting.

Federal Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said the response by WA Police seemed “inadequate”, claiming on ABC Breakfast it appeared both women did not get the response they needed.

But Col Blanch, the WA Police Commissioner who has held the role since 2022, said it was “wrong” to suggest police did nothing in response to the concerns the woman had previously raised.

news, australia, crime, tas news, wa news, ‘a lot was done’: wa top cop defends police actions before woman, teen daughter murdered by estranged ex

Mr Bombara turned the gun on himself after shooting both women dead. Supplied Credit: Supplied

news, australia, crime, tas news, wa news, ‘a lot was done’: wa top cop defends police actions before woman, teen daughter murdered by estranged ex

Ariel Bombara, the daughter of Mr Bombara, claimed she warned police multiple times over an “imminent threat” her father posed to herself and her mother. Picture ABC News / Phil Hemingway Credit: ABC

Speaking on ABC Radio on Wednesday, he said police had acted on complaints raised to officers by Ms Bombara and her daughter Ariel.

Ariel herself told the ABC she and her mother had fled their home in March.

She claimed to have spoken with police on three separate occasions between March 30 and April 2 where she flagged an “imminent threat” to their lives due to their father’s violent history and access to firearms.

Ariel also claimed she was refused a 72-hour restraining order against her father.

news, australia, crime, tas news, wa news, ‘a lot was done’: wa top cop defends police actions before woman, teen daughter murdered by estranged ex

Police Commissioner Col Blanch has defended the force’s response to the concerns raised by the Bombaras. Supplied Credit: Supplied

Commissioner Blanch said a family violence report was taken, per police policy, which triggered a “risk assessment” based on what was known at the time.

“It sends information to the family and domestic violence response team so they can triage that information,” he said.

“That was done. There was a triage meeting. It was referred to a third party through the Department of Communities for action.

“All of those things did happen.”

Commissioner Blanch said he was “concerned” about Ariel’s explanation of her experience with police, saying that was under investigation.

news, australia, crime, tas news, wa news, ‘a lot was done’: wa top cop defends police actions before woman, teen daughter murdered by estranged ex

The horrific murder-suicide has prompted an outpouring of grief and anger over what has been claimed to be the “inadequate” response by police to the Bombara’s plight. Supplied / Channel 9 Credit: Channel 9

But he reiterated police did what they were trained to do.

“It is wrong to say police did nothing,” Commissioner Blanch told the program.

WA Police Minister Paul Papalia said the weeks preceding the shooting would be investigated but indicated police were not aware of any complaints about family violence from the Bombaras prior to the shooting.

“There were no formal reports... the police did not have a record prior to that time of any incidents or offences or reports from the family with respect to him (Mr Bombara) prior to that time,” he said.

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