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Shot girl fighting for life

A young girl was fighting for life in hospital tonight after it is believed she was shot in the head by her father who then apparently killed himself.

Villagers in Northiam, near Rye, East Sussex, said the man turned up at his ex-partner's home before opening fire at about 4pm.

Armed officers who went to the scene amid reports the gunman was at large found a man's body in a car parked outside.

Sussex Police said the girl - described as of "primary school age" - was in a life-threatening condition with a gunshot wound in King's College Hospital, London.

Officers said they believed the shooting was a "tragic domestic incident" and they were not treating the man's death as suspicious.

One villager, Anthony Burr, said he had heard a man had gone to his former partner's home where the girl lived and then shot his daughter.

Mr Burr, 37, who works in public relations, said: "At round 4pm, I came back and heard what I thought was a firearm about 200 yards from our house.

"Then my neighbour, who my kids were playing with, said there were reports that a father had shot his daughter and was still at large.

"Then I started to get reports that he had shot himself. What appears to have transpired is that a father has gone to his ex's house where his daughter lives and has shot her.

"This has all come from neighbours and eyewitnesses."

A heavy police presence remained in the village as the scene of the shooting was sealed off for detailed investigation.

Chief superintendent Neil Honnor, Sussex Police's divisional commander for East Sussex, said: "We are treating this as a tragic domestic incident and do not believe that anyone else is involved.

"At this stage we are not in a position to confirm the relationships of all those involved but we can say that the girl and the man knew each other. The man does not live at the address.

"We are treating this as an isolated incident and there is no evidence that any other members of the public are at risk."

Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting Operation Stem, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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