London - Police have arrested a 45-year-old man on suspicion of murder after a mother was shot dead in her Range Rover in front of her teenage daughter.
The suspect, believed to be the woman’s estranged husband, was discovered with serious injuries four miles away on remote farm land and is being treated in hospital.
A shotgun was found close by. Neighbours reported hearing bangs and screams from the drive of a quiet housing estate, in Newport, Shropshire.
The 14-year-old daughter cried out, ‘My mum’s been shot, my mum is dead,’ as locals rushed to help. But her mother, 51, suffered a shotgun wound to her neck and could not be saved. Forensic officers remained at the scene on the newly-built estate yesterday.
A specialist forensic tent was erected close to the black Range Rover Evoque, which had a smashed window on the driver’s side. A family friend claimed the woman had moved to the area a few weeks ago to get away from her ex. She said: ‘My friend has lost her mum. We are all hoping he wakes up and faces justice. A court of law will [bring him to justice], that’s if he survives.
‘We are in a great deal of shock. Lovely woman and fantastic mother and she will be sadly missed.’ The friend added: ‘Shocked isn’t a word for us and her murderer will hopefully face justice. I hope he rots in hell.’
West Mercia Police confirmed the suspect and the woman knew each other. Neighbour Donna Campbell, 38, dialled 999 and tried to comfort the teenage girl immediately after the shooting at around 11.15pm on Friday.
She said: ‘I heard two bangs and thought it was fireworks to start with. Then I heard screaming, looked out the bedroom window and saw a silver Range Rover wheel spinning off.
‘I looked and a young girl was screaming “my mum’s been shot, my mum is dead”. When the girl opened the car door, the glass all fell out of the window.
‘I phoned 999 and went out to see if I could help. The girl was just crying that her mum was dead and one of the other neighbours was on the phone to the police.
‘It was horrible. The girl apologised to me. I told her not to be sorry – I gave her a hug.’
The victim is thought to have moved into the rented property with her daughter around three weeks ago. Mrs Campbell added: ‘It’s completely shocking. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I looked out the window. To start with I thought it was a hoax – it just couldn’t be real.’ Vicky Allen, 34, said: ‘I heard screams but I was in bed and just thought it was people coming back from town.
‘In the Range Rover we could see the shotgun hole through the back window.’
One man, who did not want to be named, said: ‘All I heard was that she had been going through a divorce. She was shot with a shotgun on the drive of her house.’
Officers were yesterday also examining the area around Guild of Monks Farm, outside the village of Sutton, close to where the suspect was found.
Superintendent Sue Thomas, of West Mercia Police, said: ‘We are in the very early stages of the investigation and a cordon remains in place at the scene and on farmland in Sutton, Staffordshire.
‘At this time we believe the suspect and the deceased were known to each other. We are treating this as an isolated incident.
‘The family of the victim, are being supported by specially trained officers.’