British academic dies after ‘accidental discharge’ of gun shoots him in bed

A British man was killed in the USA by a stray bullet that hit him as he lay in bed.

Dr Mathew Wilson, 31, had gone to Georgia to visit friends when he was hit with a bullet from a 'recklessly' discharged weapon that was shot into his apartment from a different building.

According to local police in Brookhaven, the astrophysicist from Surrey was found dead at 2am local time last Sunday.

Sgt Jake Kissel from the Brookhaven Police Department said: "This incident appears to be a random act involving individuals participating in the reckless discharge of a firearm which led to the tragic death of Mr Wilson.

"[He] was in town from England visiting loved ones when the incident occurred.”

Tributes have been paid to Dr Willson from his alma mater, the University of Exeter.

A spokesperson for the university said in a statement: “Matthew Willson was a former PhD student at the University of Exeter and much-loved member of our astrophysics team.

“We have been informed about his tragic death in the US and our hearts go out to his family, friends and colleagues. We are offering support to colleagues at the University who will also want to commemorate his life.”

Police had been called out to the area over reports of gunshots when they received another call that a person had been shot.

Sgt Kissel, from Brookhaven Police, said officers assisted “with rendering aid until paramedics arrived on the scene."

The academic was transported to a local trauma centre where he later died from his injuries.

The Foreign Office has confirmed that they have been supporting the family of a British man following his death in the US.

“We are supporting the family of a British man following his death in the USA, and are in contact with US authorities,” a spokesperson for the Foreign Office said.

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