The families of two men who died in a double shooting over a business feud today paid tribute to their loved ones.
Wealthy Ray Masters, 58, was blasted on his doorstep by Michael Harper, 46, who was found dead in a nearby graveyard with a shotgun by his side.
It is believed Mr Harper was in dispute with Mr Masters over unpaid business debts and blamed him for the loss of his job, home and marriage.
The family of Mr Masters, of Westbury-sub-Mendip, Somerset, today released a picture of him taken in the last week.
A statement released by Avon and Somerset police said: ”The family are obviously shocked and devastated by the events of Sunday night.
”They are struggling to come to terms with the sudden loss of a well-loved husband, father and grandfather.”
Mr Harper’s second wife Jane, 48, the mother of his children Rachel, 12 and Dale, eight, said they were suffering ”immense grief”.
She said: ”All I can say is that myself and our children are totally devastated.
”Michael was a caring, extremely hardworking and devoted father to his two gorgeous children.
”We do not wish to say any more at this time while we come to terms with our loss and immense grief.”
But relatives of Mr Harper told of his temper and claimed that he suffered from mental illness.
Harper’s brother, Hugh, 43, said: ”He had mental problems. He had a temper. I think he was treated for it.
”He used to wind people up until they snapped.”
His ex-wife, Tina Phelps, 45, added: ”If someone did him wrong he wouldn’t let them forget it.
”If you’d told me he’d have done that 10 or 15 years ago I wouldn’t have been surprised, but I thought he’d calmed down now.
”He’d grown up and had done really well for himself, become a family man.”
Recalling the horror of the shooting, neighbour Robert Wood said: ”I was inside the house and heard four shots around 10.30pm.
”The strange thing was there was a bit of space between them all. The next thing I heard was a girl screaming – but it sounded like it was high jinks.
”I didn’t think anything of it as it was kicking out time at the pub. The place was then awash with police very quickly and there was a helicopter overhead.”
Ros Wyke, Westbury-sub-Mendip parish council chairman, said: ”The family is well known in the local area but keep themselves to themselves.
”Ray was an active businessman and helped employ some local people. I’ve been parish council chairman here for six years and it is just a very sad incident that has happened.”
I am so upset about Ray, he was a fine man and loved his family with a passion. He did not deserve this, and anyone who thinks differently is a sad human being. The world is a sadder place without him I know.
With the greatest respect to your own personal views, perhaps you ought to go and talk to the many people, who’s lives have been very negatively affected as a result of business dealings with Mr Masters. I think you’ll find that he was not a very honourable business person and appears to have made a great deal of money by exploiting small businesses and his own associates. I believe there are many people who rue the day that they ever got involved with him. It’s very easy to appear to be a pillar of the community, when the community has no knowledge of one’s business conduct.
I agree with Mister Reality, Ray Masters has screwed over ripped off and conned many people for his own greedy pockets and not care who he hurts in the process, Its the same as Titch….Dave and Ken Masters, they are the same, backhanders to get what they want ie..Tramways and many other things, they dont care who they trample on to get what they want, they stab people in the back.