Tributes paid to British doctor killed in bed after gun fired 'recklessly' by neighbour

21 January 2022, 13:47 | Updated: 22 January 2022, 14:19

Matthew Wilson was found with a gunshot wound to the head.
Matthew Willson was found with a gunshot wound to the head. Picture: Brookhaven Police Department

By Sophie Barnett

Tributes have been paid to a British doctor killed by a bullet fired "recklessly" as he lay in bed on a family visit to the United States.

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Dr. Matthew Willson of Chertsey, Surrey, had been visiting family in Atlanta when he was found with a single gunshot wound to the head.

Tributes were being paid to Dr Willson, 31, after his death.

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

"We have been informed about his tragic death in the US and our hearts go out to his family, friends and colleagues.

"We are offering support to colleagues at the University who will also want to commemorate his life."

He died after being shot at random in the early hours of Sunday after a weapon was “recklessly” discharged by a group of individuals in the neighbouring apartment block.

Brookhaven police said the gun is believed to have been fired by accident and Willson was not specifically targeted.

No suspects have been arrested.

"This incident appears to be a random act involving individuals participating in the reckless discharge of firearm(s) which led to the tragic death of Dr. Willson," the force said in a statement.

"Dr. Willson was in town from England visiting his loved ones when the incident occurred."

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The shooting took place in the Brookhaven area in Atlanta, Georgia
The shooting took place in the Brookhaven area in Atlanta, Georgia. Picture: Google Maps

Willson had been visiting loved ones in Brookhaven, Atlanta, when the fatal shooting took place.

Officers went to an apartment complex in the 3600 block of Buford Hwy on January 16 to investigate a call "regarding multiple shots fired".

They were later called to an apartment in the 3100 block of Clairmont Road and found Willson lying in a bed with a gunshot wound to his head.

He was taken to a trauma centre where he later died from his injuries.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We are supporting family of British man following his death in the USA, and are in contact with US authorities."

Anyone with information about this incident should call Brookhaven Police at 404-637-0636 or submit anonymous tips to Crime Stoppers by calling 404-577-TIPS (8477).