Tributes paid to victims of double shooting in Somerset

  • Published
Ray Masters - family photograph
Image caption,
Mr Masters was shot at point blank range at his home

The families of two men who died in shootings in Somerset have paid tribute to their lives.

Police were called to Westbury-sub-Mendip on Sunday night.

When officers arrived they found Ray Masters, 58, shot dead in his home and the body of Michael Harper in a nearby churchyard - a shotgun was by his side.

In a statement, the Masters family said they were coming to terms with the sudden loss of a well-loved husband, father and grandfather.

'Point blank range'

"The family are obviously shocked and devastated by the events of Sunday night," the family said.

It is believed Mr Harper travelled from Stratton-on-the-Fosse to Westbury-sub-Mendip on Sunday night and shot Mr Masters at point blank range at his home before turning the gun on himself.

The Harper family said they would not speculate on why the shooting had happened, but in a handwritten note given to BBC News Mrs Harper said she and her children were "totally devastated".

"Mike was a caring, extremely hard working and devoted father to his two gorgeous children... We do not want to say any more at this time while we come to terms with our sudden loss and immense grief."

Post-mortem examinations are taking place on both men.

Police are continuing forensic investigations and interviewing witnesses to determine events leading up to the incident.

Speaking on Monday, a force spokesman said police believed the deaths were linked and that no other suspects were being sought.

"Their deaths will ultimately go to a coroner's inquest," he added.

He appealed for anyone with information to contact the force.

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