"British man killed in 'reckless' Georgia shooting"

An astrophysicist has been killed in a "reckless" shooting while visiting his girlfriend in the US state of Georgia.

At 02:00 local time (07:00 GMT) on Sunday, officers were called to an apartment block in Clairmont Road in Brookhaven, Atlanta.

Dr Matthew Willson, 31, from Surrey, UK, was found in bed with a single gunshot wound to the head.

The Foreign Office said it was "supporting the family of a British man following his death".

Brookhaven Police said the shooting of Dr Willson, from Chertsey, was "random" and involved the "reckless discharge of firearms".

Dr Willson "was in town from England visiting loved ones when the incident occurred," police said.

Police told local news station WSB-TV2 in Atlanta that it was "a senseless act" and Dr Willson was "a completely innocent victim".

Investigators also said he had just flown in to Atlanta.

Officers had earlier been called to a neighbouring block of flats after reports of gunshots. They received a second call regarding a "person being shot" while they were checking the area.

Dr Willson was a former PhD student at the University of Exeter in the south-west of England.

The university said in a statement that Dr Willson was a "much-loved member of our astrophysics team".

It added: "Our hearts go out to his family, friends and colleagues. We are offering support to colleagues at the university who will also want to commemorate his life."

Dr Willson also worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Georgia State University between 2017 and 2019, the university said.

No suspects have been arrested and police are seeking information from the public. Authorities are offering a cash reward for tips that lead to an arrest.

Sgt Jake Kissel from Brookhaven Police described the location of the shooting as "a generally safe area".

Sgt Kissel told BBC Radio Surrey that officers "immediately responded to the priority call of someone being shot and that's where they met with a female caller who was rendering aid to her boyfriend who had been shot dead".

He said: "We are asking for our public's help in assisting us with this investigation.

"Our investigators are currently following up on all leads to include potential video, eyewitness accounts as well as the evidence that was left on scene."
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: "British man killed in 'reckless' Georgia shooting"

Thanks DM, I'm not familiar with the area. Hope they find the person responsible. A young scientist just starting his career. It's getting a lot of play in British media - Americans and their guns.

Dr Matthew Willson, 31, from Chertsey, was visiting his girlfriend in Atlanta when he was killed by a stray bullet.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: "British man killed in 'reckless' Georgia shooting"

AP had more info.
“He was supposed to be here for three months because we’ve been long distance for a while,” Katherine Shepard, his girlfriend of three years, told WSB-TV. “I picked him up from the airport, took him to his favorite eating location, and the next day, he’s gone.”

Shepard, whose apartment is in the Atlanta suburb of Brookhaven, who told the television station that the couple woke up on Jan. 16 to the sound of more than 30 gunshots coming from an apartment complex directly behind Shepard’s. A bullet traveled through Shepard’s wall, hitting Willson, she said.

“I held him for another 20 minutes while we waited for the ambulance,” she said. “And while we were waiting, there were more gunshots fired.”
https://apnews.com/article/atlanta-shoo ... dab8835328
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

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