Mother speaks of how horrific shooting shattered an ‘ordinary day’

Lyndsey Shipstone has spoken for the first time about how her little girl was gunned down by her father outside her home at Spring Hill Northiam.

Ms Shipstone spoke of how it had been “just an ordinary day” and how Mary was happy as she had been given a violin at school that day.

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She was shot in the head by her father Yasser Almorisse after returning from school at around 4pm on Thursday September 11 and died the next day from her wounds.

Amorisse’s body was found in a car on the drive next to Mary’s house. It is believed he killed himself.

Ms Shipstone said “You can’t describe the horror that I’ve felt losing my precious daughter. We were very close. We hadn’t spent any time apart. I was always there for her.”

She recalled: “We walked to the house. There was nothing extraordinary. We’d just picked up one of the local cats that waited for her.

“It waited for her every day when she came home from school. We were holding the cat and just walking down the path and were going to give her some food, like we did every day.

As soon as I put my front door key in there was a terrible bang behind me and I turned round and Mary was on the ground.

“I saw her father with the gun in his hand pointing at Mary’s head and he fired it a second time, and then he retreated into the car.

“I just dropped down to Mary and dragged her round the front of the house away from the car.

Ms Shipstone said when she heard the bang she had at first thought someone had “burst an enormous balloon” behind them.

“I saw immediately that it was her father. I couldn’t understand why he was there,” she recalled.

“I was screaming for help and I was telling the neighbours that he had a gun and Mary had been shot.”

Ms Shipstone told the BBC there had been no indication that Yasser Alromisse would harm his daughter.

“He just wanted a relationship with her and he wanted to see her,” she said.

“It was a great comfort that I was with her in her final moments,” she said.

She said she would remember her as “a fun-loving little girl, who loved life, who had so much to live for”.

“She’s had her life snatched away from her so cruelly when there was so much promise.

“I’d like people to remember her little smiling face.”

A police investigation into the shooting is continuing and is likely look at answering two key questions - how Yasser Alromisse came to acquire a gun and how he was able to discover where his family lived.

Both East Sussex County Council and Sussex Police will be sending information to the Safeguarding Children Board, which will then determine whether there should be a Serious Case Review.