Police seized weapons ‘weeks before double shooting’

Licensed weapons had been seized by police from the home belonging to a couple who are at the centre of a double shooting investigation.

The woman, named locally as 56-year-old Debbie Zurick, was gunned down at the weekend at her home in Winsford, near Minehead in Somerset.

Mrs Zurick’s husband, John, is believed to be in hospital with self-inflicted injuries.

Their home is next to the rural estate owned by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s father, Stanley.

Mr Johnson said his family is “shocked, stunned and saddened” by the death of his neighbour, who was shot at her country cottage.

Avon and Somerset Police confirmed the weapons had been seized earlier this month as part of a separate investigation.

“We can confirm we previously attended the address where this incident happened to seize licensed firearms as part of a separate investigation,” a spokesman said.

“We’re satisfied that no firearms licensed to any of the occupants remained at the premises following this visit.

“We’re unable to go into further details due to the ongoing referral to the IOPC.”

The force was called to Winsford by a member of the public raising concerns over the welfare of a woman at 2.30pm on Saturday.

Mrs Zurick was found outside the property with severe injuries and pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said a second woman, being treated as a key witness, was located unhurt nearby.

A further search found a 67-year-old man, who had also suffered serious injuries caused by a shotgun, in an outbuilding, officers said.

Police said the man, whose condition is described as critical but stable, is in custody but has been taken to a hospital in Devon for emergency treatment.

Boris Johnson’s father, Stanley, told the PA news agency: “Both I and my whole family are shocked, stunned and saddened by this tragic incident.

“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.”

The Zuricks had several dogs, including one apparently named after the Prime Minister.

An image posted on Mr Zurick’s Facebook page in March 2016, captioned “Boris meets Boris”, appears to show Mr Johnson with the dog.

A post from Jane De Savary on Mrs Zurick’s Facebook page said: “Darling Debbie you will be so missed so loved by all who knew you RIP.”

Telegraph event
Stanley Johnson paid tribute to his neighbour (Victoria Jones/PA)

Jackie Blakeman also posted on Facebook: “RIP Debbie, we’ll remember you with love always.”

Mr Zurick previously told the Working Clumber Spaniel Society that he had trained a dog for the Princess Royal.

Asked in a now-deleted question-and-answer section on the website about the most embarrassing thing his dog had ever done, Mr Zurick replied: “Sparkle, who I trained for (Princess Anne), burying a pheasant rather than giving it to hand.

“Princess Anne left a message on the answer phone machine saying ‘If I wanted an undertaker then I would have asked for one’.

“She didn’t leave a name but Debbie knew the voice so I called her back in the morning and she was chuckling, telling me what had happened.

“She had sent Sparkle out, she had picked the bird beautifully, brought it halfway back, dug a hole and buried it.”

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