Police seized licensed weapons from Princess Anne’s dog trainer just weeks before he ‘shot his estranged wife dead and then tried to kill himself at Boris Johnson’s family estate’.
Debbie Zurick, was gunned down at the weekend at her home in Winsford, near Minehead in Somerset.
The 56-year-old’s husband John, is believed to be in hospital with self-inflicted injuries.
The couple are at the centre of a double shooting and Avon and Somerset Police today confirmed weapons had been seized earlier this month as part of a separate investigation.
Pictured: Debbie Zurick and John Zurick. Neighbours of the couple, who lived in Nethercote Cottage, Winsford, Somerset, next to the Johnson family’s 500-acre estate, say the couple’s marriage was in crisis and Mrs Zurick had asked her husband for a divorce
Officers were called to the property after reports of a hearing a gunshot in Winsford, Somerset
Their home is next to the rural estate owned by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s father, Stanley.
Mr Johnson said his family is ‘shocked, stunned and saddened’ by the death of his neighbour, who was shot at her country cottage.
The force said: ‘We can confirm we previously attended the address where this incident happened to seize licensed firearms as part of a separate investigation.
‘We’re satisfied that no firearms licensed to any of the occupants remained at the premises following this visit.
Winsford borders Exmoor National Park and is home to a 12th century pub, The Royal Oak Exmoor
A picture posted on the couple’s social media showing Boris Johnson meeting their dog, also called Boris
‘We’re unable to go into further details due to the ongoing referral to the IOPC.’
The force was called to Winsford by a member of the public raising concerns over the welfare of a woman at 2.30pm on Saturday.
Mrs Zurick was found outside the property with severe injuries and pronounced dead at the scene.
Police said a second woman, being treated as a key witness, was located unhurt nearby.
Neighbours of the couple, who lived in Nethercote Cottage, Winsford, Somerset, next to the Johnson family’s 500-acre estate, say the couple’s marriage was in crisis and Mrs Zurick had asked her husband for a divorce
Pictured: Debbie and John Zurick with their dogs. Police have opened a murder probe
A further search found a 67-year-old man, who had also suffered serious injuries caused by a shotgun, in an outbuilding, officers said.
Police said the man, whose condition is described as critical but stable, is in custody but has been taken to a hospital in Devon for emergency treatment.
Boris Johnson’s father, Stanley said: ‘We very much regret the passing of Mrs Zurick. She was a neighbour and she was much loved.
‘She was honorary secretary of the Working Clumber Spaniel Society and was much loved for the work she did, in the society and in Exmoor and beyond.’
The Zuricks had several dogs, including one apparently named after the Prime Minister.
An image posted on Mr Zurick’s Facebook page in March 2016, captioned ‘Boris meets Boris’, appears to show Mr Johnson with the dog.
A post from Jane De Savary on Mrs Zurick’s Facebook page said: ‘Darling Debbie you will be so missed so loved by all who knew you RIP.’
Jackie Blakeman also posted on Facebook: ‘RIP Debbie, we’ll remember you with love always.’
Mr Zurick previously told the Working Clumber Spaniel Society that he had trained a dog for the Princess Royal.
Asked in a now-deleted question-and-answer section on the website about the most embarrassing thing his dog had ever done, Mr Zurick replied: ‘Sparkle, who I trained for (Princess Anne), burying a pheasant rather than giving it to hand.
‘Princess Anne left a message on the answer phone machine saying ‘If I wanted an undertaker then I would have asked for one’.
‘She didn’t leave a name but Debbie knew the voice so I called her back in the morning and she was chuckling, telling me what had happened.
‘She had sent Sparkle out, she had picked the bird beautifully, brought it halfway back, dug a hole and buried it.’