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Family shocked over man's gun death

The family of a businessman shot dead in a picturesque village have spoken of their shock at his death.

Ray Masters, 58, was killed on Sunday night at his home in Westbury-sub-Mendip, near Wells, Somerset.

A short time later police discovered the body of contractor Michael Harper, 46, in the nearby churchyard. Avon and Somerset Police are linking the shootings and are not looking for anyone else.

A statement issued by police on behalf of Mr Masters' family said: "They are struggling to come to terms with the sudden loss of a well-loved husband, father and grandfather and would be grateful if the media would allow them to grieve privately while the police carry out their investigation."

The family also released a photograph of the businessman, which was only taken in the past week.

The alarm was raised shortly after 10.30pm on Sunday when a member of the public reported that someone had been shot.

Police found Mr Masters, who had several local business interests, with serious injuries at his large detached property in the centre of the village.

The body of Mr Harper, of Stratton-on-the-Fosse, was then discovered at the Parish Church of St Lawrence, next to Mr Masters' gated property.

Local resident Robert Wood, 61, who lives opposite the church, said: "I was listening to the Masters golf on the radio and heard, I reckon, about four shots.

"I assumed it was someone shooting rabbits or something on the outskirts of the village... The next thing I know, the whole place was lit up with flashlights and flashing blue lights and police cars were crawling all over the place."


From Belfast Telegraph