Shotgun massacre victims named

POLICE have named the four people who died in the New Year’s Day massacre.

Investigators believe Michael Atherton, 42, of Greenside Avenue, Horden, shot his partner Susan McGoldrick, 47, also of Greenside Avenue, Horden, her sister Alison Turnbull, 44, of Blackhall and her niece Tanya Turnbull, 24, also of Blackhall.

They will all be formally identified today.

Police are continuing to try to establish the exact circumstances of what took place and are speaking to family, friends and associates of those who died.

But police say they can confirm that police currently believe Mr Atherton shot the three women before turning the weapon on himself.

The exact weapon used has still not been established and will also form part of continuing enquiries.

Post-mortem examinations are being carried out this evening and we hope to release more details of them today.

Some of victims’ relatives are being treated as significant witnesses.

Anyone with information is being asked to contact Durham Constabulary on 101 or to ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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