Rita King, an elderly woman with dementia has been shot dead at a care home by her husband, Ronald, 86. The husband had been staying with his wife at the home over Christmas. A shocked member of staff at the home said Ronald King handed her a gun after killing his wife Rita and said: ‘She’s had enough.’
86-year-old husband shoots wife, 81, dead in care home
Rita King, an elderly woman with dementia has been shot dead at a care home by her husband, Ronald, 86. The husband had been staying with his wife at the home over Christmas.
Police were called to De La Mer House in Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex, at 9am on Monday after Mrs. King was shot in the head in the communal lounge by her one-armed husband.
She was confined to a wheelchair and had lived at the privately run home for just six months.
Neighbours said they heard “two or three shots” around the time of the shooting at the 57-bedroom home. Manager of the establishment, Julie Curtis said: "It was 9am, normal sort of morning it was really.
"I was on the phone dialing 111 trying to get help for another lady that was poorly (treated). I suddenly saw one of the gentlemen that had been booked in for a week coming towards me with a gun in his hand.
"First of all I thought it wasn't real I thought it was a toy gun but then as I got closer I could see it was a real gun. He was just shaking and mumbling something like 'she's had enough, she's had enough'. He was mumbling something about her not being happy."
"I was aware that there were other staff behind me and that there were other residents nearby and all I can remember thinking is somehow I've got to get the gun out of that man's hand.
"I just put my arm round him and said please give me the gun please give me the gun and handed it to another member of staff.
"We didn't know anyone was hurt at that point but I asked staff to check the lounge and she found one of the female residents who was in her wheelchair and had been shot in the head.
"She's been with me about six months, she had dementia, she got on with other residents but she was in her own world and did not communicate very much."
Policemen have now launched an inquiry into the occurrence and the husband now arrested on suspicion of murder and is being held in custody.
Detective Chief Inspector Simon Werrett, from Essex Police, said: “It is an unusual investigation.”
Detectives and forensic experts could be seen entering into the care home, and asking questions from people. Officers stood guard outside the care home as forensic searches took place. They looked on as the victim’s body was removed later in the afternoon by medics as nurses attended to the rest of the residents, some of whom need specialist care.
A certain Maureen Thornton, neighbour of the couple said: "They moved in around 18 months ago. Rita had a lot of ill health and eventually kept falling down and the paramedics kept having to come around. Ronald couldn't cope eventually because he had part of his arm missing."
"So they just decided it would be best for her to go into the other home where the other sister is you know. He had checked in there to spend Christmas with her for the week. We thought that perhaps he had a military background but he never told us that."
"We wondered if he had still had his service revolver or something like that but we really don't know. He was a lovely man that's for sure, this is so sad."
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