Gunshot killed Briton at Waco

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The Independent Online
A BRITISH man who died at Waco was killed by a shot in the head, according to officials in Texas.

Stephen Henry, 26, from Manchester, died of a 'near contact' gunshot wound to the forehead with smoke and carbon monoxide inhalation, David Pareya, McLennan County Justice of the Peace, said yesterday.

A second Briton, Livingston Malcolm, 26, died of smoke and carbon monoxide inhalation with a possible gunshot wound.

Both bodies were extensively charred and were identified by dental records. Mr Henry's body was found in the staircase-kitchen-serving area of the Branch Davidian cult headquarters.

His mother Zilla Henry, 55, sisters Diana, 28, Paulina, 24, and Vanessa, 19, and brother Phillip, 22, are also thought to have died in the siege.

His father, Samuel, a builder, who tried in vain to persuade his family to leave the ranch two weeks before the siege began, flew out to Waco earlier ths week.

Mr Malcolm was found in the chapel area.

The Foreign Office said his name was among their list of 24 Britons thought to have died in the blaze - 16 women, seven men, and a six-year-old girl - but it would give no further details about him. They are the first Britons to be identified from 72 bodies retrieved from the burned-out compound.

Eighty-six people are thought to have died in the fire that followed the FBI's assault on the compound on 19 April. Two Britons, Renos Avraam, 29, and Derek Lovelock, of Manchester, survived.

The Britons were recruited from Seventh Day Adventist churches by David Koresh on trips to this country in the late Eighties. Koresh himself was 'disfellowshipped' by the Church in 1981.

Five bodies were shot in the head, a spokesman for the Tarrant County medical examiner told the Houston Chronicle.

At least seven of the remaining bodies had gunshot wounds, he said. The findings are likely to add fuel to the debate about whether cult members committed suicide or were shot to prevent them fleeing the fire.

Survivors have denied any mass suicide plans and said the fire was started when tanks knocked over burning lanterns. The FBI has blamed Koresh for the killings, pointing to the gunshot wounds.

The bodies of seven of Koresh's followers have been identified, but two names have not yet been released pending notification of family.

The investigation at the scene is due to resume tomorrow, with efforts aimed at exploring underground tunnels, searching several barns on the land and then conducting a walk-through of 77 acres of prairie.

Samuel Henry said at his home in Old Trafford, Manchester, yesterday: 'I am relieved that Stephen's body has been identified and the truth of the matter about how he died has been revealed. It releases some of the tension.

'I am now anxiously awaiting news of the rest of my family.'

Mr Henry said he did not know whether the funeral of his family would be held in Britain or the United States.

'As soon as all the bodies have been identified, then we will think about the funeral,' he added.

'Obviously, it would cost an enormous amount of money to bring them home. I don't have that kind of cash. It would be easier to bury them over there but I am not quite sure if it will be in America.

'They were very, very good children. It is a shame they were caught up in this mess. They deserve a dignified funeral.'

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