THE boyfriend of one of the Horden gun massacre victims had planned to propose when she was tragically gunned down.
Michael Kendrew and Tanya Turnbull had talked of settling down together after enjoying a two-and-a-half-year relationship.
Just days before Tanya, 24, was shot dead by taxi driver Michael Atherton, Michael saw the perfect ring to pop the question with.
Atherton also blasted his partner Susan McGoldrick, 44, and Tanya’s mum Alison Turnbull, 44, before turning the gun on himself on New Year’s Day in Greenside Avenue, Horden, last year.
Michael, 28, said: “I was sat on my laptop looking for engagement rings and I saw this one.
“Tanya had showed me what type she liked and I saw one on a website.
“It was meant to be £650 knocked down to £450 and I was going to get it, but I didn’t.
“She always used to say I would never ask her and I used to tell her I was just waiting for the right time.
“I wish I had asked her now because things could have been different.”
Michael and Tanya welcomed in 2012 together and she planned to go out with her family on New Year’s Day.
In the initial confusion after the shootings, Michael did not realise Tanya had been killed until he visited Peterlee Police Station.
Michael, of Blackhall, described Tanya as “so kind” and was liked by everybody who knew her.
“She would give anybody her last penny and she would be left with nothing,” he said.
Michael added he longed to have a family with Tanya and does not think he will meet anyone who can replace her.
“I’ll never meet anyone like her,” he said. “No one could come close.”
Michael spoke about his loss after last week’s inquests into the shootings.
Coroner Andrew Tweddle ruled the three women had been unlawfully killed and called for “root and branch” changes to gun licensing.
Atherton legally owned six shotguns despite a history of domestic abuse and threatening to “blow his head off” in 2008.
Michael is supporting Tanya’s brother Bobby Turnbull’s high-profile campaign calling for tighter gun laws.
He is also urging people to sign an online petition that can be found at: epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/41060