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Since I Found My Baby
Heaven Is A Secret
E. Billy Thompson
Black Eyed Girl
Helen Carter, Friday 8th June 2012 18:38
A man and a woman have died in a shooting at a house in the West Midlands. Two people related or known to the victims were arrested, police said.
A 43-year-old man and 39-year-old woman were found with gunshot wounds at a house in Laneside Gardens, Walsall, shortly after 1.30am. Paramedics were unable to resuscitate them, police said. The victims have not been formally identified.
Within an hour, officers arrested a 23-year-old man and a 22-year-old woman who were "related to, or have connections" to the dead pair, police said. They were being questioned on suspicion of murder.
Police stressed they were dealing with an isolated incident. Supt Keith Fraser, of West Midlands police, said: "I can confirm that the people arrested are connected to the victims, I can confirm that they are related."
Fraser said the arrests were made "in the locality" and within an hour of emergency services arriving at the scene. He said a firearm had been recovered from the address and the arrests were made "very soon after".
Neighbours named the victims as Clare Sly, who was said to have worked as a teaching assistant in a nearby junior school, and her long-term partner, Decker Vassell.
Police said they were not 100% sure of the murder weapon as the cause of death had not yet been confirmed by postmortem. The property and cul-de-sac were sealed off for forensic searches.
Fraser's colleague DI Michaela Kerr said: "Both the man and woman … received emergency treatment at the scene; however, they could not be saved and died a short time later. We are treating their deaths as suspicious."
One neighbour, Carol Robinson, 67, described Sly as "gorgeous and a lovely mum". She said she had two young boys who were well-behaved and polite. "They are a lovely little family, they have never caused any trouble," she said. Her husband, Sydney, used to give Sly a lift to school, she said.
Other neighbours reported hearing screams coming from the house shortly before the shooting. One who did not want to be identified said: "I didn't know the woman well but I know that she was a decent, hard-working woman. The man who was shot is known as Decker but I don't know his real name."
Harbans Sarohi, a Walsall councillor, said support was available for residents. "I think people are very shocked because these things never happen here. So all I can say is that if they need any help from the council or from police, that will be provided," he said.