Breaking news: Norfolk council leader murdered wife ‘with her own gun’

PUBLISHED: 16:12 03 December 2012 | UPDATED: 16:36 03 December 2012

Scene of the double fatal shooting on Compit Hills, Cromer. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Scene of the double fatal shooting on Compit Hills, Cromer. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2012

Council leader and pillar of the north Norfolk community Keith Johnson took his wife’s shotgun from her cabinet and used it to murder her on the front lawn of a neighbour’s house, police revealed.

At a press conference at Cromer police station, DCI Andy Guy said: “We are not seeking anybody else in connection with these offences. We believe Mr Johnson shot his wife and took his own life in the rear garden of his home address.”

He said Mrs Johnson, 44, was a registered holder of four shotguns, one of which was used to kill her before Mr Johnson went into his back garden at 39 Compit Hills and shot himself.

But he said mystery remained over why the double killing happened, and urged members of the public to make contact with any information.

DCI Guy said a nearby resident at Compit Hills in Cromer had called police at 2.50pm. He said: “A member of the public heard what they thought was a car crash and leaned out of the window and saw Mrs Johnson lying in the front garden of 41 Compit Hills.”

He was “not aware of anything that might have highlighted that something serious was about to happen”.

He urged anyone with information, or who felt unsafe, to contact the Safer Neighbourhood Team on 101.

There was an eerie silence this morning at the close where the popular couple died from gunshot wounds.

Less than 24 hours after the bodies of Mr Johnson and his wife Andrea were found, residents were struggling to come to terms with the shocking incident.

Police tape was sealing off three bungalows at Compit Hills - number 39, where Mr and Mrs Johnson lived, and numbers 41 and 43.

In the front gardens of numbers 41 and 43, there were white scenes of crime tents erected.

At the press conference DCI Guy explained that paramedics and police had moved Mrs Johnson’s body from number 41 to number 43 to “a more secure spot”.

He added that police had advised the owners of number 41 to “stay with friends for a while”, saying: “I can only imagine how horrific it was to find their neighbour lying dead in their front garden.”

Mrs Johnson’s Porsche Boxster was parked on the couple’s front lawn, with Mr Johnson’s Mercedes E220 on the driveway.

Cameramen from ITV Anglia and the BBC were also at the scene.

The stillness was occasionally disturbed by a person walking their dog, but there was a sense that the close was trying to take in the magnitude of the previous day’s events.

Derek Houlston, who lives with David Bailey in a bungalow behind the Johnsons, said: “We took the dog out on Saturday morning and saw Keith at the bottom of the road doing his paper round.

“I said ‘morning, Keith’, and he looked so down and miserable. It was not like him - he usually had some banter.

“It’s so sad when something like this happens. It makes me ask ‘why’?”

A near neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said her husband had heard a single shot ring out at about 2.50pm on Sunday. She said: “I didn’t find out what happened until this morning. They were quiet, friendly people. I’m feeling awful today.”

Another neighbour said he was on “nodding acquaintance” with the couple, and said: “It is a terrible shock. You don’t expect this to happen here.”

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