Police find four bodies of family shot dead at suburban home

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A family of four, including two children of primary school age, were found shot dead at their home in Harrow, north-west London, yesterday. Police entered the house after being alerted by a family friend who had been unable to get a response when she called.

A family of four, including two children of primary school age, were found shot dead at their home in Harrow, north-west London, yesterday. Police entered the house after being alerted by a family friend who had been unable to get a response when she called.

Inside, police found the bodies of a man, a woman, a boy and a girl. A shotgun was also found in the property.

Detectives launched a murder inquiry, but said they were not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths. A police source said the shootings seemed to be the result of a "particularly nasty domestic dispute".

Officers said the family was unlikely to be identified until today because relatives had yet to be informed.

As forensic science officers searched the house, a stretch of the quiet suburban road was sealed off and a firearms specialist examined the gun.

Residents gathered in the street, some in tears, as they learnt what had happened. They spoke of their disbelief that a "normal family" could be gunned down in their area.

Mike Roper, 57, a local newsagent, said: "This is absolutely unbelievable. They were a normal family, the kids were always in here, more with their mother than with their father, buying sweets.

"She was very attractive. He wasn't a smiler, but he wasn't grumpy either. They were both always smartly dressed and the kids were very nice. They were a totally normal family; this is unreal."

The mother is thought to have worked part-time at a Sainsbury's supermarket in South Ruislip, and the family were said to be considering a move to Dorset.

"They had been looking at Bournemouth," said Mr Roper. "They wanted to go down there. She was lovely, always smiling, often spoke to my wife, because we had thought of moving to Dorset as well.

"She had just bought a dartboard from the shop for the boy, and was worried about the darts because she didn't want him to come to any harm."

Brian Harris, a retired engineer, said: "The woman is attractive and bubbly and the children are very nice. Generally speaking this is a quiet area, and it's a great shock to have something like this happen."

Detective Superintendent Nigel Mawer, of the Metropolitan Police serious crimes group, said: "Post-mortem examinations will be carried out, and an inquest will be opened.

"We are investigating the deaths of four persons at an address in Harrow. The police were called at 10.45am after a friend visited the address and was unable to gain entry.

"Police officers who attended found four bodies ... Formal identification is still awaited, but we believe they are the family resident at the address.

"A post-mortem will be carried out tomorrow morning, [Monday] and at this early stage it is not thought there is anybody else involved, but I am keeping an open mind."

Comments