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Forensic officers at the home in Horden Owen Humphreys/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Four family members dead after Durham shooting

Three women and a man were found dead, while it’s believed other relatives escaped as the shootings were carried out.

FOUR PEOPLE HAVE been found dead after a shooting at a house in Durham, north-east England.

The four – a man and three women – were all related to each other. A shotgun was found next to the body of the 42-year-old man, who has been named locally as Michael Atherton, the BBC reports.

A fifth member of the family, a 19-year-old woman, is being treated for minor injuries after apparently escaping through an upstairs window of the home in the village of Horden, near Peterlee. It is thought that others may also have escaped.

According to the Daily Mirror, the shootings are believed to have been carried out after the family returned to the house from a New Year’s Day outing. The bodies were found at around 11.45pm last night.

Police said that one resident of the house was licensed to carry guns, including shotguns and “section-one firearms”.

One neighbour of the family told the Peterlee Mail: “They were just a lovely couple. I don’t know why it’s happened and for it to be on New Year’s Day – it’s a hell of a time.”

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