British scientist killed by stray bullet fired from flats 100 YARDS away

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Gifted scientist Matthew Willson, 31, was shot in the head after he and his girlfriend Katherine Shepard, 26, were woken by the sound of gunfire outside her apartment in Atlanta, Georgia, in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The pair had been in a longdistance relationship for three years after meeting at Georgia State University in Atlanta and he had just arrived in the US for a three-month stay. Ms Shepard said: “I picked him up from the airport, took him out to eat, and the next day he’s gone.”

She had battled to stem the bleeding and Dr Willson was taken from the Brookhaven apartment to hospital where he died on Tuesday.

Sgt Jake Kissel, from the Brookhaven Police Department, said the stray bullet that hit Dr Willson travelled less than 100 yards and entered through an exterior wall of the apartment.

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He said: “The two apartment complexes, where the gunfire took place and where Matthew was staying, are separated by a patch of woods. The stray bullet travelled through the woods and entered his apartment.”

Dr Willson’s body will be flown this week to the home he shared with his “devastated” parents in Chertsey, Surrey, where he worked remotely for the University of Liege as a post-doctoral researcher.

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