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The husband of the Epsom College headteacher who was found dead on the grounds of the school earlier this month died of a gunshot wound on school grounds after allegedly killing his wife and daughter, a coroner's report has concluded.
A coroner's report confirmed the man's cause of death just a few weeks after police had suspected a "gunman" of murdering headmistress Emma Pattison, 45, and daughter Lettie, seven.
George Pattison, 39, who is believed to have killed the pair before turning his weapon on himself, died of a "shotgun wound to the head" according to an inquest into his death at Surrey Coroner’s Court opened today (February 28).
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Opening the inquest into Mr Pattison’s death on Tuesday, coroner Simon Wickens said: “I would like to offer my deepest sympathies to George’s wider family at this difficult time.”
Police confirmed there was no third-party involvement in the tragic deaths on the Epsom College grounds.
Gunshots had been heard on the school grounds by a staff member who called emergency services in the early hours of Sunday, February 5, hours before police confirmed the deaths.
Mr Pattison's cause of death has since been confirmed by the coroner's office.
Mrs Pattison started working at Epsom College as its first female headteacher in September 2022 and described the role as a “really big change for my family” in a student-teacher podcast.
“In terms of transition, it’s been a really big change for my family,” she said.
“We've moved house – we’ve bought a dog. I’ve got a new job, my husband has got a new job. That wasn’t meant to happen, but it did, and my daughter has started a new school so there’s been a lot of change for us as a family.”
Police had previously believed Emma and daughter Lettie were shot by George, who had then turned the gun on himself.
Daily Star previously reported that the shots fired on the night of February 5 could not have been from the nearby shooting range on the school grounds as it did not stock live ammunition.
The Pattison home had been surrounded by buildings occupied by other members of staff, one of which called emergency services the night of February 6.
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Police concluded the "isolated incident" had no third-party involvement, with a homicide investigation opened and a coroner's report now released.
An official statement from police at the time read: "This is an incredibly traumatic incident and we are working around the clock to investigate and understand the exact circumstances which led to this point."
Mrs Pattison and Lettie’s relatives said in the wake of their death: “To see the esteem in which Emma is held by all who knew her is an enormous comfort.
“She was everything one could hope for in a daughter, sister, mother, wife, friend, teacher and so much more. We are an extremely close family and family was at the centre of Emma and Lettie’s universe.
“Emma had a warm, welcoming smile and sparkling, blue eyes, full of optimism. Over the last 11 days we’ve noticed the sky has been bright blue, with at times a warm glow of pink.”
Mr Pattison’s post-mortem exap was performed by Dr Ashley Fegan-Earle at East Surrey Hospital three days after the shooting, according to coroner’s officer Kelly Truss.
Mr Wickens has fixed a date for a pre-inquest review hearing on June 27.
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