Husband of Slain U.K. Headteacher and Daughter Died from 'Shotgun Wound,' Say Authorities

An inquest has heard Epsom College headteacher Emma Pattison's husband George died of a shotgun wound to the head. He is believed to have killed his wife and child.

Emma Pattison (45) and her family, George (39) and Lettie (7), photographed at Epsom College on 9th January 2022
Emma, George and Lettie Pattison. Photo: John Wildgoose/Epsom College

The husband of Epsom College's headteacher Emma Pattison died of a shotgun wound to the head, a UK inquest into his death has heard.

George Pattison, 39, is believed to have killed his wife and their daughter Lettie, 7, before killing himself.

The bodies of all three were discovered in the early hours of Feb. 5 at their home on the grounds of the prestigious private school in Surrey, south of London.

At the opening day of the Surrey Coroner's Court inquest on Tuesday, the hearing was told a post-mortem examination of the husband was carried out by Dr. Ashley Fegan-Earle at East Surrey Hospital, the BBC reported.

The examination took place three days after the shooting and the cause of death was described in the hearing as a "shotgun wound to the head," The Times stated Wednesday.

He was identified by dental records, the outlet added.

Emma Pattison (45)
John Wildgoose/Epsom College

Coroner Simon Wickens opened the inquest with a statement, saying "I would like to offer my deepest sympathies to George's wider family at this difficult time."

Inquests into the deaths of Emma Pattison and Lettie will be held separately.

Authorities were first alerted to the crime scene after a distressed phone call was made by Emma Pattison to a relative on the night she was slain. Police were then called to Epsom College at 1:10 a.m. where they found the bodies of the three family members, Surrey Police said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.

The deaths have rocked the close-knit community. Pattison had only been the head teacher of the elite private school since September of 2022, according to her personal Twitter account. She was the first female head of the school, which was founded in 1855, the BBC confirmed.

Epsom College in Surrey where the bodies of headmistress Emma Pattison, 45, her daughter Lettie, seven, and her husband George, 39, were found when officers were called to the private school by the South East Coast Ambulance Service
Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images

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The family of Emma and Lettie Pattison paid tribute to their loved ones in a message shared on Surrey Police's website.

"To see the esteem in which Emma is held by all who knew her is an enormous comfort. She was everything one could hope for in a daughter, sister, mother, wife, friend, teacher and so much more. We are an extremely close family and family was at the center of Emma and Lettie's universe. The Epsom College Community had become part of that universe for them both," the statement read.

"Seven-year-old Lettie was Emma's pride and joy: an adorable, vibrant little girl with a compelling curiosity, a heart-melting smile and an intellect beyond her years. The two of them were inseparable and we take comfort in that they will remain so. Emma had a warm, welcoming smile and sparkling, blue eyes, full of optimism."

Epsom College posted a statement on its Twitter account the day after the deaths, saying the news was "shocking and tragic".

The inquest continues.

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