Tunisia victims were shot in head

Published: Friday 3rd July 2015 by The News Editor

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A British teenager and his grandfather who were killed in the Tunisia terror attack were both shot in the head, an inquest heard.

Joel Richards, 19, and his grandfather Patrick Evans, 78, both died from a “gunshot wound to the head” in the beach massacre a week ago, West London Coroner’s Court heard today.

Joel’s uncle, Adrian Evans, 49, also died in the attack, from gunshot wounds to the neck and “trunk”, the hearing was told.

Chinyere Inyama, senior coroner for West London, confirmed their bodies will be released to their family as he adjourned the inquest to a date to be fixed.

Joel’s 16-year-old brother Owen survived the attack last Friday, in which 38 holidaymakers including 30 Britons were killed.

University of Worcester student Joel, a talented young football referee, is believed to be the youngest of the British victims killed by gunman Seifeddine Rezgui when he opened fire in the resort of Sousse.

The teenager’s body was identified in Tunisia by DNA and a family identification statement, Detective Sergeant David Batt of the Counter Terrorism Command told the hearing.

Joel’s grandfather – who was referred to as Charles Patrick Evans during the hearing – and his uncle Adrian, a manager at Sandwell Council in the West Midland, were both identified by dental records.

Earlier, an inquest was opened in to the death of another British victim, Stephen Mellor, who was killed as he shielded his wife Cheryl during the attack. The 59-year-old engineer from Bodmin, Cornwall, was killed by gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen.

Mr Batt told the hearing that 275 witness accounts had been taken by police, while more than 1,200 potential witnesses had returned to the UK.

“Accounts are being taken from those who are deemed significant,” he said.

Mr Batt said the attack happened at around 11.15 am last Friday and was believed to have lasted 30 minutes. “Tourists were indiscriminately targeted by the gunman,” he said. “The gunman was shot by security services.”

The coroner said the inquests had been suspended pending the outcome of investigations by British and Tunisian police.

The bodies of the four victims were moved to the central mortuary in Tunis after they were killed, Mr Batt told the inquest.

“Senior UK police identification managers have assisted in Tunisia and in the UK to oversee the identification process,” he added.

There was a heavy police presence near the court today, while a number of officers were guarding a large tent close to the building.

Floral tributes were also left nearby.

Further inquests into deaths of the British victims are expected to open over the weekend.

Published: Friday 3rd July 2015 by The News Editor

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