A father shot his seven-year-old daughter dead when her mother rejected both Islam and him. Egyptian-born Yasser Alromisse, 46, wanted custody of daughter Mary Ann Shipstone after he become estranged from wife Lyndsey.
Lyndsey had originally converted to Islam upon marrying Alromisse in 2005, but the marriage later broke down and she abandoned the faith, leading to a bitter custody battle for Mary Ann. It has since emerged that the family had been hiding from Alromisse for some years.
The shooting took place at Lyndsey’s home in Northiam, East Sussex, southern England, on Thursday. After shooting Mary Ann, Alromisse then took his own life in a silver Toyota on his estranged wife’s driveway.
The Daily Mail reports that Lyndsey screamed: “He’s got a gun” before her estranged husband opened fire.
Neighbour Helen Barber described the scene: “I ran out up to the house and went in. Mary Ann was on the sofa. There was blood everywhere.
“I couldn’t feel a pulse. I’ve done first aid before and she was showing no signs of life. Lyndsey was hysterical.”
Her husband, Stewart, added: “The car stopped. There were two shots. No one went to the car. Within minutes armed police turned up and surrounded the car.”
Lyndsey Shipstone also has an older son, Stephen, 21, who has autism and arrived at the scene 15 minutes after the shooting. He was taken away from the scene by Mr Barber.
The family said in a statement that they were “trying to come to terms with what has happened,” adding: “We are today grieving the death of our beautiful and loving Mary.”
After marrying Alromisse, Lyndsey, who had been a practising Catholic, became a devout Muslim. A family friend said: “She started wearing long robes and only eating halal food. Her son Stephen began using the name Adam.”
They originally had a daughter called Yasmin Miriam, but she died aged just eight months. Mary Ann was born in 2006 but social services soon had to intervene and bar Alromisse from being alone with both her and Stephen. One family friend claims that Alromisse used to hit Stephen.
Despite this, Alromisse became a Community Safety Officer for Uttlesford District Council in Essex, a position that included being involved with projects to reduce crime.
Detective Chief Inspector Jason Taylor of Sussex Police said: “We are trying to establish Mr Alromisse’s movements over the last few days and are keen to hear from anyone who may have seen or heard from him.”