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Last Updated: Monday, 10 July 2006, 16:41 GMT 17:41 UK
Man quizzed over four shot dead
Clockwise from top left: Peter, Josie, Glen and Keith Purcell
Clockwise from top left: Peter, Josie, Glen and Keith Purcell
Police are questioning a former soldier after four people were found shot dead at a house in Newcastle.

Peter Purcell and his wife, Josie, both 70, and two of their sons, Keith 44, and Glen, 41, were discovered at their home in Benwell Grove.

They were found after a 40-year-old man walked into Westgate police station on Sunday with a bag containing arms.

Police refused to confirm reports that he is a former Gulf War veteran named widely in the press as David Bradley.

The arrested man is a relative of those who died and was living at the family home at the time of the killings.

Explosive device

Detective Superintendent Steve Wade, who is leading the investigation, said: "Initial enquiries suggest the arrested man served in the British Army between 1987 and 1995 in the Royal Artillery, serving in Bosnia, the first Gulf War and Northern Ireland.

"Officers are still awaiting confirmation from the army about this.

"There are also suggestions the arrested man may have psychiatric illnesses associated with his military service. Enquiries into this aspect are in their early stages although it is an active part of the investigation."

The forty-year-old walked into Westgate police station, near Benwell Grove, at about 0615 BST on Sunday.

Bomb disposal experts in Benwell Grove, Newcastle
Bomb disposal experts carried out a controlled explosion

He was carrying a rucksack which was found to contain a handgun with a silencer, a pump-action shotgun, a quantity of ammunition and an improvised explosive device.

A controlled explosion was carried out on the device.

The four bodies were found in the two downstairs rooms of the family home.

All appeared to have suffered from shotgun wounds. Post-mortem examinations were being carried out on Monday afternoon.

Peter Purcell ran his own roofing firm with his two sons Keith and Glen before retiring about 10 years ago.

'Well-known and popular'

The couple have another son and a daughter. Another daughter died two years ago.

Det Sup Wade said: "Peter was a popular man and well-known in the clubs in the West End and had an active social life.

"Josie, as well as raising a family, worked as a home help.

"Keith suffered an accident at work, which left him disabled and recent ill-health left him needing crutches.

"Glen, after working for his father, had settled in Wales and worked as a glass fitter and visited Benwell Grove from time to time."

Forensic scientists and ballistics experts are continuing their investigations at the house.


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