Somerset shooting: Neighbour of Stanley Johnson gunned down at countryside cottage

Debbie Zurick died at the scene of the shooting. (Facebook)
Debbie Zurick died at the scene of the shooting (Facebook)

A neighbour of Boris Johnson’s father has been shot and killed at her countryside cottage.

Debbie Zurick was shot on Saturday afternoon at her home in Winsford, near Minehead in Somerset.

A man, named in reports as 67-year-old husband John Zurick, was found by police with serious injuries caused by a shotgun. The wound is believed to be self-inflicted.

Police did not name either person but said they were called to Winsford, near Minehead, at 2.30pm on Saturday and found a woman in her fifties outside the property with severe injuries. She was pronounced dead at the scene after officers attempted cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Officers said they also found a 67-year-old man who had suffered serious injuries caused by a shotgun in an outbuilding.

He is in police custody and is receiving emergency treatment in a Devon hospital, where he is in a critical but stable condition.

A second woman, who police are treating as a key witness, was located uninjured nearby.

Police have launched a murder investigation into the shooting.

The shooting took place next to Stanley Johnson’s rural estate in Somerset, and he told the Daily Mail: “Both I and my whole family are shocked, stunned and saddened by this tragic incident.

Britain's Conservative Party leadership candidate Boris Johnson and his father Stanley are seen at a hustings event, in Exeter, Britain, June 28, 2019. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
The shooting happened near the estate of Stanley Johnson, left, pictured here with his son Boris (Reuters)

“We very much regret the passing of Mrs Zurick. She was a neighbour and she was much loved.

“She was honorary secretary of the Working Clumber Spaniel Society and was much loved for the work she did, in the society and in Exmoor and beyond.”

Detective superintendent Julie Mackay, of Avon and Somerset Police’s major crime investigation team, said: “This is a very serious incident in which a woman has lost her life and we are deploying family liaison officers to support the next of kin.

“The scene remains cordoned off so further forensic inquiries and searches can take place over the next few days.”

Avon and Somerset has referred itself to the police watchdog because it has had previous contact with the couple.

Debbie Zurick was found by police outside the property. (Facebook)
Debbie Zurick was found by police outside the property (Facebook)

John and Debbie Zurick had a number of dogs, including one apparently named after the prime minister.

In a now-deleted Q&A on the Working Clumber Spaniel Society website – which says the group works to “maintain the Clumber spaniel as a natural working gundog” – John Zurick spoke about how he had trained a dog for Princess Anne.

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