Stray bullets kill a British astrophysicist who visits Atlanta

Brookhaven, Georgia (AP) — Officials say a drifting bullet was attacked and killed while a British space physicist was in an apartment in the Atlanta area.

Matthew Wilson, 31, from Chertsey, Surrey, England, was visiting an American girlfriend when he hit a bullet that broke through the wall of his apartment. The shooting took place early Sunday morning, just three days after his visit.

“He should have been here for three months because we have a long-distance relationship,” said three-year girlfriend Catherine Shepherd. I told WSB-TV.. “I picked him up from the airport and took him to his favorite dining place, and the next day he left.”

Shepherd, an apartment in Brookhaven, a suburb of Atlanta, told television stations that the couple was awakened by the sound of more than 30 bullets from an apartment complex just behind Shepherd. She said the bullet went through the shepherd wall and hit Wilson.

“While waiting for the ambulance, I detained him for another 20 minutes,” she said. “And while we were waiting, more gunshots were fired.”

When the 911 call from Shepherd came in, police were nearby asking for a report of the shooting. Jake Kissell of Brookhaven’s criminal investigation department said that when police arrived at the scene, they provided assistance until rescuers arrived.

“Dr. Wilson was taken to a local trauma center where he was injured,” Kissell said in a statement. Shooting appeared to be a “random act involving individuals participating in the reckless release” of firearms.

Wilson was in memory of his family, friends, and his alma mater, the University of Exeter.

“Matthew Wilson was a former PhD student at the University of Exeter and a very beloved member of our astrophysics team,” a university spokesman said in a statement.

No arrest has been announced. Brookhaven police have contacted witnesses or anyone with information about the shooting, or asked the crime stopper to provide anonymous tips at 404-577-TIPS (8477).