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Four Young Children In Family Care After Parents Die In Domestic Shooting

A man and woman were found dead in a Wangaratta home after reports of shots fired.

26/04/2017 8:07 AM AEST | Updated 26/04/2017 10:44 AM AEST

The four young children of a gunman forced to flee for their lives in Wangaratta on Tuesday have been told of their parents' deaths, as police investigations continue.

Police were called to Belle Avenue, in rural Victoria, at around 12:50pm on Anzac Day after reports that a high-powered rifle had been fired.

Two adults and six children managed to escape the property uninjured shortly after the shots were fired, Victoria Police confirmed.

Specialist negotiators were flown in, in the hope that the incident would be resolved peaceably, but at 5:10pm police entered the property and found the man and his wife both dead inside. Residents in the surrounding streets were kept in lockdown into the evening as special operations group officers inspected the property.

The tight-knit community of Wangaratta, which is located approximately 250km north-east of Melbourne and has a population of around 18,000, has been left in shock by the incident.

A neighbour of the couple told The Age that the woman was "a lovely lady" and he had never seen the couple argue.

Victoria Police Superintendent Paul O'Halloran told the media that a witness had reported seeing a man with a rifle and telescopic lens chasing a woman from their home into the house next door.

The couple's four young children are also believed to have run next door, but were able to escape unharmed along with the two adults and two children residing at the property. The children, aged from toddler to primary school-aged, were told of their parents' deaths on Tuesday night.

Police had earlier said that they held "grave fears" for the man and woman inside the property as police staked out in a neighbouring property in preparation for a potential shoot out.

Homicide Squad detectives were en route to Wangaratta on Wednesday morning and will assist police with their investigations into the deaths.

Police are not searching for anyone else in relation to the incident.

In a separate ANZAC Day incident in Tasmania, a 34-year-old man has been charged after allegedly dousing a 20-year-old woman in an accelerant before setting her alight in what police are treating as a family violence incident.

The woman has been flown to the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne in a critical condition, with burns to more than 50 per cent of her body, including her face.

"The dispute is being treated as a family violence incident, although there are no current family violence orders restricting the man and woman from being together," a police said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Chigwell man has been charged with causing grievous bodily harm and three counts of assault and is due to appear in court on April 26. He is currently being treated for burns under police guard at Royal Hobart Hospital.

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