A mother murdered in front of her teenage daughter while sitting in her Range Rover has been described as an ‘angel’ by her devastated friends.
Cheryl Hooper, 51, was found dead with a fatal gunshot wound to the neck outside her house in Newport, Shropshire.
A 45-year-old man was later arrested in relation to the incident, but he remains under armed guard in hospital where he is being treated for gunshot wounds.
Cheryl Hooper (pictured), 51, was found in her black Range Rover Evoque outside her new home on Friday night
Mrs Hooper, pictured, while attending church, was reportedly killed in front of her daughter
A 45-year-old man allegedly fled a murder scene after Cheryl Hooper was killed in a car
Police and ambulance crews dashed to the property at 11.13pm on Friday after neighbours reported hearing gunshots.
Mrs Hooper’s 14-year-old daughter was heard screaming at the scene, ‘My mum’s been shot, she’s dead’.
The suspect is currently being treated at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. Detectives do not believe his injuries to be suspicious.
Friends paid tribute to Mrs Hooper, who they said had married her childhood sweetheart John Hooper, in 2016.
The 14-year-old daughter of Mrs Hooper (pictured) was heard screaming at the scene, ‘My mum’s been shot, she’s dead’
Cheryl and her childhood sweetheart John Hooper, the couple married in 2016
One neighbour said: ‘I just can’t believe what had happened. It’s an absolute tragedy. Cheryl was an angel and she did not deserve this.’
A former school friend, who knew the couple, said: ‘I had known Cheryl and her husband since we were at school.
‘It was his second marriage and they got married in 2016, but they had been together five or six years. They used to come into the pub quite regularly together.
‘I’d see them every few months down the pub.
‘Cheryl was an attractive girl and really lovely. It’s a complete shock what’s happened.
‘I’ve seen some of our old teachers in town and everyone is in complete shock.’
Police block the access road to Guild of Monks Farm in Staffordshire (pictured on Sunday) where a man was found injured after he is believed to have shot and killed Cheryl Hooper
Officers arrived to find Mrs Hooper in a black Range Rover Evoque (pictured) with a gunshot wound to her neck
Another friend added: ‘I saw Cheryl a couple of weeks ago, I’d just come back from holiday.
‘She seemed in good spirits and we had a bit of a laugh. I just can’t believe what has happened.
Superintendent Tom Harding, of West Mercia Police, said officers remain at Mrs Hooper’s home.
He said: ‘Investigations are continuing into this incident and officers remain in the area while inquiries are carried out.
‘We know that members of the local community are shocked and upset by these events, and our officers are on hand to provide reassurance.
‘Our thoughts remain with Cheryl’s family, who are being supported by specially trained officers at this extremely distressing time.’
Flowers have been left at the scene of the incident which occurred on Farmers Gate
A 45-year-old man, from Newport, was arrested on farmland near Sutton. He is currently in hospital under police guard
The black Range Rover was covered by a forensics tent to preserve the scene against the weather as officers continue to investigate the murder
West Mercia Police currently believe the suspect and Mrs Hooper knew one another.
Vicky Allen, 34, said: ‘I heard screams, I don’t know what time it was exactly. I was in bed and just thought it was people coming back from up town.
‘In the Range Rover we could see the shotgun hole through the back window. It’s not nice.’
Donna Campbell, 38, lives by the woman, and said: ‘I heard two bangs and thought it was fireworks to start with.
‘Then I heard screaming, looked out the bedroom window and saw a silver Range Rover wheel spinning off.
‘I looked and a young girl was screaming ‘my mum’s been shot, my mum is dead’.
Police have carried out a finger tip search at the scene of the incident in Farmers Gate
The house, on a newly-built estate which is still being constructed, looks onto a grass and playpark area
‘I phoned 999 and went out to see if I could help. The girl was just crying that her mum was dead and one of the other neighbours was on the phone to the police.
‘He was asking if I could check the lady in the car for a pulse but by that point the ambulance and police were just arriving.
‘They had only been here about three weeks. You don’t expect it.’
Debbie Beamond, 48, who lives in the area, said: ‘A man had a snood on over his face and was walking around here.
‘You don’t expect it round here, it’s a quiet road – it’s new. The poor girl’s daughter that was in the house, they had only just moved in.’
A neighbour said: ‘In the Range Rover we could see the shotgun hole through the back window – it’s not nice’
Forensic officers converse at the scene on Farmers Gate in Newport, Shropshire
Debbie Beamond, 48, who lives in the area, said: ‘A man had a snood on over his face and was walking around here. I don’t know whether he had anything to do with it – loitering around’
Superintendent Sue Thomas, from West Mercia Police, said: ‘At this time we believe the suspect and the deceased were known to each other. We are treating this as an isolated incident.
‘I understand that this incident will be concerning for the local community, and I’d like to reassure them that we will have extra officers in the area over the coming days to carry out enquiries and to provide reassurance.
‘We would ask anyone with any information which could assist with the investigation or who may have any concerns to please come forward or to speak with a local officer.
‘Our thoughts remain with the family of the victim, who is being supported by specially trained officers at this time.’
Anyone with information should call 101 and quote incident 725s of 26 January 2018 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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