Picture a BRIT scientist lying in bed with his girlfriend, where he would be shot dead by a stray bullet just hours later.
The last haunting image of astrophysicist Matthew Willson, 31, accompanied Katherine Shepard just two days after he arrived in the US.
The photo shows the couple relaxing in bed with a cat before the horrifying incident took place.
Police said the bullet came from a neighboring street where multiple shots were fired, apparently from an apartment complex.
Desperate Katherine called 911 and tried to stop the bleeding with a towel as she urged her partner to “stay with me”.
Matthew, from Chertsey, Surrey, was taken to hospital, but tragically died from his injuries.
Traumatized Katherine, 25, spoke privately to The Sun and reminisced about the nightmare moment they awoke to gunfire in the early hours of Friday in the posh suburb of Brookhaven, in Atlanta, Georgia. .
“We were in bed when we heard gunshots,” Katherine said chokingly. It was just a few gunshots at first, then there was more gunfire and it sounded as if someone had blown up their clip.
“I turned to Matthew and said, ‘I’m going to call the police. His last words were, ‘Sure, I’m sure they’re just messing around’.
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“Then the reshoots started and that’s when I heard a small explosion next to the bed.
“I remember a piece of wall hitting my leg. I turned on the light, looked around and Matthew was slumped in front of me. I could see he was shot in the head. “
The couple met while Matthew was studying at Georgia State University three years ago.
Katherine, also an astrophysicist, said: “We have had a long-term relationship. He’ll stay up late to call me when he gets back to the UK after I’m done with work.
“He is a great guy and I really love him dearly. He is amazing and has a great sense of humour.
“We both know we’ve found one of these. We knew we were going to get married and we talked about where we were going to live and we were going to call our kids.”
She added: “I just can’t believe this happened.”
Matthew’s heartbroken sister, Kate Easingwood, yesterday posted a picture of her brother online with the caption: “This world is so unfair.”
Sergeant Major Jacob Kissel, of Brookhaven police, told The Sun: “No arrests have been made, but this is being treated as a homicide.
“The initial report of the shooting was from a parallel path and we are connecting the incidents. It was a shot to the head that hit him in the head.
“The incident appears to have been a random act of reckless shooting by individuals.”
Today, his sister Kate Easingwood, who flew to the US to be with Katherine, was on her way back to Sweden where she lives and posted on her Instagram a picture of her brother with the caption: “So This world is unfair.”
In the United Kingdom, Matthew’s neighbors in Chertsey were reeling from the tragic news.
One neighbor said: “He is the best, he will always greet you. He is the quiet and humble type but he is always friendly.
“He’s a very polite young man who’s lived here for a long time, more than 25 years, I think.”
Locals revealed that the astrophysicist often travels around the world to serve his work.
Matthew’s parents, Pauline and Robert, are grieving and have requested confidentiality.
A UK Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are supporting the family of a British man following his death in the US and are in contact with US authorities.”
https://www.thesun.ie/news/8241790/last-picture-brit-scientist-lying-bed-stray-bullet/ Haunting final photo shows scientist Brit lying in bed where he would be killed by stray bullet next to his girlfriend