Three members of a British family celebrating a birthday party at their Turkish holiday villa have been shot by a disgruntled member of staff leaving one dead and two injured, according to reports today.
The Turkish gardener was arrested at the weekend following an argument with Catherine Bury, 56, at the house at the popular resort of Dalyan – but was then released, only to return later and allegedly carry out a revenge attack on three generations of the family from North Yorkshire.
The suspect, identified by police only by the initials V A, shot the grandmother Cecilia, 87, in the back, and her grandson Alex, 24, in the leg in the early hours of Monday.
The gunman is said to have then pursued Ms Bury up three flights of stairs, shot off the lock of her bathroom where she was hiding and shot her four times with a pump-action shotgun and killed her.
Television footage appeared to show a conscious Mr Bury as he was taken from an ambulance by stretcher into hospital where he was in a stable condition, authorities said. His grandmother was later discharged from hospital after treatment.
The suspect later gave himself up and was due to appear in court today. “The chief suspect has been arrested and is currently under custody, while a full investigation is under way,” said the Turkish tourism ministry in statement.
Neighbours said the suspect, named locally as Velli Acar, was a handyman and gardener with a drinking problem who last year owned a boat running trips for tourists at the tiny fishing village on the southern Turkish coast that is famed for its natural mud baths.
“They were quiet and respectable people. They kept themselves to themselves. They’ve been coming here for the last six years,” said Ozman Tugcu, a neighbour, of the British family.
“We didn’t hear anything. No shooting – nothing. I was horrified to see the elderly lady bought out of the house. She was covered in blood. I was sure she was dead and I am astonished she survived. It’s a really dreadful thing to happen.”
Bunting was still strung across the garden today to mark Catherine Bury’s birthday, and smears of blood were clearly visible on the villa’s marble floors.
Balloons hung from the porch of the villa behind police tape. Turkish television showed detectives searching the property.
Mrs Bury, who had degrees in law and midwifery, was based in Swainby, North Yorkshire, but had been working in Saudi Arabia in a medical role. Her son had taken a year off after studying bio-medicine at Newcastle University, according to neighbours.
Stephen Garbutt, 72, who lives in the adjoining bungalow to the dead woman, said: “I never ever heard a bad word, or a cross word or anything like that from any of them. How on earth they got into this situation I cannot imagine.”
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