Boxted: Harold Ambrose shot wife Wendy twice before turning gun on himself, it has emerged
11:12 26 May 2014
An 82-year-old man called police to warn he planned to shoot himself just moments after killing his wife, it emerged last night.
The bodies of Harold and Wendy Ambrose, who were described as “pillars of the community” by neighbours, were discovered on Saturday in the picturesque village of Boxted, on the Suffolk and Essex border.
Police received a 999 call from a man believed to be Mr Ambrose saying he had shot his 77-year-old wife and planned to shoot himself at about 6.35am on Saturday.
Armed police attended the address and discovered Mr Ambrose’s body in the back garden with a single shotgun wound to the face, while Mrs Ambrose was found in an armchair in the lounge with two shotgun wounds, one to the face and another to the head.
Police said they were not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths.
Neighbours say Mr Ambrose was suffering from dementia, and his wife had been diagnosed with cancer.
Anne Grant, whose parents Brian and Elizabeth Grant were neighbours of the couple in Chapel Road, said: “Harold and Wendy were a really likeable and very well-respected couple.
“They were very kind and friendly and had lived in the community for more than 30 years.
“They were pillars of the community.
“They were really smart and a couple who were very loving and close to one another.”
Miss Grant said the couple, who are understood to have one daughter and had been married for more than 50 years, adored their thatched cottage and took “great pride” in their home and garden.
She added: “Wendy hadn’t been very well and had recently been diagnosed with cancer. And Harold was in the early stages of dementia.”
Miss Grant said neighbours are saddened by Mr and Mrs Ambrose’s deaths.
“They were only talking to people in the village on Friday and it’s difficult to believe they are not going to be here any more,” she added.
“It’s a really tragic situation and they are going to be really missed.”
Post mortem examinations were carried out yesterday, which revealed the couple both died from shotgun wounds.
Senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Simon Werrett, said: “The post mortem examinations have been completed and both died from their shotgun wounds.
“This was consistent with the evidence the forensic officers found at the scene and the initial telephone call to the police.
“I do not believe anyone else was involved in their deaths. Our inquires will continue and a report will be submitted to HM Coroner in due course.
“The house will remain under police control while other searches are on going.”