British Doctor Visiting America Killed By Stray Bullet While Lying In Bed
A British doctor visiting the US was fatally shot while lying in bed in the middle of the night.
Dr. Matthew Willson, from Chertsey, Surrey, had been visiting loved ones in Atlanta, Georgia, when he was killed by a gunshot wound to the head. The bullet collided with Wilson after being shot from another building into his apartment, according to local police in Brookhaven.
The 31-year-old, previously a postdoctoral researcher at Georgia State University, had only landed in the US two days prior to his death, but lost his life as a result of the 'random' act at around 2.00am on Sunday, January 16.
When officers attended the scene, they discovered Willson lying in his bed with a single gunshot wound to the head. He was then rushed to hospital, but he later died from his injuries, police said, describing the doctor as an 'innocent victim' of 'a senseless act', The Telegraph reports.
'This was a senseless act – this was an innocent victim. He was here visiting from England. He was visiting a loved one. He had just flown into the Atlanta area. We lean on the public to understand that this is a tragic event, and we hope that they may come forward with any information they may have,' sergeant Jacob Kissel told WSB-TV.
'These two roadways parallel each other and are separated by a woodline. [Police officers] immediately responded to the priority call, the person being shot. That's where they met with a female caller who was rendering aid to her boyfriend who had been shot in the head,' he also told BBC Radio Surrey.
The gunshot was the result of individuals 'recklessly' handling a weapon next door, police said. 'Officers assisted with rendering aid until paramedics arrived on scene. Dr. Willson was transported to a local trauma centre where he succumbed to his injuries,' a statement read.
When 31-year-old Dr. Matthew Willson went to bed with his girlfriend Saturday night, it would be the last thing he ever did. A stray bullet hit him in the head while he slept, Brookhaven Police say. https://t.co/FZyu7xz5sd pic.twitter.com/O7TKmLrhum— Matt Johnson (@MattWSB) January 21, 2022
'This incident appears to be a random act involving individuals participating in the reckless discharge of firearm(s) which led to the tragic death of Dr. Willson,' it added.
His sister, Kate Easingwood Willson, wrote on Instagram, 'This world is so unfair.' The Foreign Office also issued a statement, saying, 'We are supporting the family of a British man following his death in the USA, and are in contact with US authorities.'
While Brookhaven is generally considered a 'safe area', Atlanta saw a total of 750 shooting incidents in 2021.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677
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