‘We have no animosity towards Keith’ - parents of Cromer shooting victim speak out
The parents of a woman who was shot dead by her husband in a neighbour’s garden have told the EDP that they have “no animosity” towards him.
And Janice and John Chadwick are also hoping that the tragic couple can have a joint funeral - possibly at the church where their “dream” wedding was held eight years ago.
Mr and Mrs Chadwick, who live in the Stalham area, have been receiving strong support from their family, friends, church and police family liaison officers since Keith Johnson killed their daughter Andrea on Sunday - before turning the gun on himself.
Mrs Chadwick said: “We would prefer a joint funeral, but we are not allowed to talk to Keith’s family at the moment to find out what they would like to do.
“We have no animosity against Keith or anybody. It was a spur of the moment thing that went out of hand.”
Mr and Mrs Chadwick attend Sutton Parish Church, near Stalham.
The Rev Simon Lawrence, vicar of Sutton, said: “I’ve spent time with Andrea’s parents and sister to be with them and to listen to and support them.
“They are in our care. It’s a case of being alongside them. Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to both families.”
Along with other members of the family, the Chadwicks are in the process of writing a eulogy to their daughter to be read at the funeral, for which a date has not yet been fixed.
Mr and Mrs Johnson were the first pair of divorcees to be married at Cromer Parish Church. The memorable event, held on May 1 2004, could be followed by the poignant sight of their joint funeral at the same location.
Yesterday, an inquest was opened and adjourned into the horrific double death of North Norfolk District Council leader Mr Johnson and his wife, who was a customer service assistant at Homebase at Cromer.
Before adjourning the inquest, held at Thorpe Road, Norwich, Norfolk coroner William Armstrong said Mrs Johnson was shot in the chest, while husband Keith had a wound to the neck.
As reported, police believe Mr Johnson shot his wife with her shotgun in the front garden of a neighbour’s bungalow at Compit Hills, Cromer, at 2.50pm on Sunday December 2.
It is believed that he then called his closest friends, funeral directors Leslie and Jean Amis, to ask them to look after their lurcher, Alfred, and call the police - before walking into his back garden and turning the gun on himself.
Mr Armstrong said: “At around 3pm, as a result of a 999 call, police and paramedics went to Mr and Mrs Johnson’s home. On arrival they found Mrs Johnson in the garden of a neighbour’s house with a gunshot wound to the chest.
“Despite their best efforts she could not be revived and was pronounced dead. The police subsequently found Keith Johnson in the garden of his home with a gunshot wound to the neck and he was also pronounced dead at the scene.
“A shotgun was found next to his body.”
Mr Armstrong said Mrs Johnson was born at Corby in Northamptonshire on October 4 1968, while Mr Johnson, 58, who recently retired after 39 years in local government, was born on June 19 1954 at Sheringham.
The coroner also said that it was unlikely that any criminal proceedings would arise from the subsequent investigation.