Matthew Willson: ‘Reckless discharge’ caused a British scholar in the US to be shot dead while lying in bed

The stray bullet that hit Dr. Matthew Willson traveled less than 100 yards and penetrated an exterior wall of the apartment

Dr. Matthew Willson and his partner Katherine Shepard (image: family flyer)

US police say the shooting death of a British astrophysicist in his bed appeared to be the result of a “reckless discharge of electricity”.

Dr. Matthew Willson, 31, was found dead at 2 a.m. local time on January 16 after being shot in an apartment complex on Clairmont Road, Buford Expressway, Georgia.

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Summary: 5 main points

  • Dr. Willson had come to town from England to visit loved ones when he lost his life.
  • Sgt. Jake Kissel from the Brookhaven Police Department said Dr Wilson’s death is being treated as a homicide even though they believe it was a random act – and no arrests have been made until now.
  • Police were called to the area to reports of gunfire when they received another call that a person had been shot.
  • Sergeant Kissel, from Brookhaven Police, said officers provided “support until paramedics arrive on the scene” before he was taken to a local trauma center, where he was not able to cope with his wounds.

  • The Foreign Office confirmed to the PA news agency that it is supporting the family of a British man following his death in the US.

What was said

Dedications were paid to Dr. Willson from his alma mater, the University of Exeter.

A university spokesperson said in a statement: “Matthew Willson is a former PhD student at the University of Exeter and a much-loved member of our astrophysics team.

“We have been informed of his tragic death in the US and our hearts go out to his family, friends and colleagues. We are providing support to colleagues at the University who will also want to commemorate his life.”

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Huynh Nguyen

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