Four found dead at house after 'shooting'
Four people have been found dead in a house in Durham following a suspected shooting.
The bodies of one man and three females were found inside a semi-detached house in Greenside Avenue, Peterlee, after officers were alerted shortly before 11.45pm yesterday, Durham Police said.
A spokesman said all four were related or known to each other and at this stage they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths.
A shotgun was found lying next to the man's body.
Durham Police said officers were alerted by a caller reporting that a number of people had been shot inside the property.
Firearms officers were quickly deployed to the scene and when they entered the property they discovered four bodies - one male, three female - in different rooms in the downstairs of the house. Paramedics confirmed all four were dead at the scene.
The man is believed to be in his early 40s and while the ages of the female victims have not yet been established, it is thought the youngest was in her teens.
A fifth person, a 19-year-old woman thought to be related to one of the victims, was treated at North Tees Hospital in Stockton but has since been discharged after her injuries were found to be minor.
She was found by police at another house in the street shortly after officers arrived in Greenside Avenue.
The area has been cordoned off since shortly after midnight and police say the house will be subjected to a forensic examination.
It is expected to be some time before police are able to formally identify those who have died.
Robert Bailey, 72, a long-standing resident of Greenside Avenue, spoke of his shock following the news.
He said he knew the people involved by sight only - and they had appeared "normal, ordinary people".
"There is shock. There is never any trouble here and we have been here for nearly 50 years," he said.
One resident of Greenside Avenue, who did not want to be identified, said it was a quiet area.
"I am shocked and stunned by this. This is just awful. Nothing happens in our street," she said.
Labour party ward councillor Paul Stradling said it was the most shocking incident he had come across in 30 years as a politician.
He said: "I have had a few phone calls this morning asking if I was aware of it - it's terrible news.
"Greenside Avenue is normally a very quiet area of the village so it has shocked everybody.
"It's a typical North East village, quiet most of the time with a little bit of anti-social behaviour but crime levels are usually low.
"I will be out and about today and am waiting for further reports from the local police inspector."
:: An incident room is being set up at police headquarters in Durham staffed by officers from the force's major crime team led by the senior investigating officer, Detective Superintendent Paul Goundry.
Anyone with information is being asked to contact Durham Constabulary on 101 or to ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.