Princess Anne’s dog trainer shot dead in suspected ‘murder-suicide bid’

A dog trainer friend of Princess Anne has been shot dead and her husband is fighting for life after a double shooting at their home, according to reports.

Debbie Zurick, 56, was gunned down on Saturday and last night her husband John, 67, who was also shot, was in custody in hospital in a critical condition.

The shootings – which took place at the couple’s cottage in Winsford, Somerset, where Prime Minister Boris Johnson grew up – are suspected to be a murder-suicide bid.

The couple, who live next door to Boris Johnson's dad Stanley, trained gundogs for a living, including Princess Anne’s dog Sparkle, reports The Sun.

Last night the couple’s home – near where Prime Minister Boris Johnson grew up – was at the centre of a murder investigation.

Police were said to have found Debbie’s body outside the farmhouse "with severe injuries’’.

Officers reportedly carried out CPR but she died at the scene.

Police then searched the area and found John in an outbuilding with gunshot injuries.

Neighbours near to the couple's 500-acre estate said their relationship had been at breaking point in lead up to the incident.

They claimed that Debbie had tried to end her 30 year marriage with John.

Debbie's half-brother Phillip Townsend, 44, told The Sun: “I just can’t believe it. It’s so sad.

“I thought they were happy together. They seemed to have the perfect life.

“They shared each other’s country ideals – they had a house, dogs, guns. They lived a life they loved in the country.

"They seemed happy, breeding their Clumber Spaniels for Princess Anne. Princess Anne had a Clumber Spaniel off her."

An Avon and Somerset Police spokesman said this evening: "Officers were called to a property in the village at around 2.30pm on Saturday 22 February after a member of the public called to raise concerns over the welfare of a woman.

"Firearms officers were among those to attend the scene and a woman in her 50s was found outside the property with severe injuries.

"Although officers carried out CPR, the woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

"A second woman, who is being treated as a key witness, was located nearby and taken to a place of safety.

"She was uninjured.

"A further search of the premises located a 67-year-old man in an outbuilding. He’d suffered serious injuries caused by a shotgun.

"He’s in police custody but was taken to a hospital in Devon for emergency treatment, where he remains in a critical but stable condition.

"A post-mortem examination has been carried out on the woman and the cause of death has been confirmed as shotgun injuries.

"Formal identification has not yet taken place."

Det. Supt. Julie Mackay, of the Major Crime Investigation Team said: "This is a very serious incident in which a woman has lost her life and we are deploying family liaison officers to support the next of kin.

"The scene remains cordoned off so further forensic enquiries and searches can take place over the next few days.

"We’re grateful to the local community for their support and understanding, and I’d urge anyone with concerns or questions to speak to a member of the local neighbourhood team who’ll be carrying out extra patrols over the coming days.

"Due to prior police contact with those involved, a mandatory referral has been made to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

"It would be inappropriate for us to go into further details while the referral is being considered."

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