Shot wife ran for life
Police at the scene of the shooting and siege in Mandurah yesterday. Picture: Bill Hatto/The West Australian

A woman who is believed to have grabbed a rifle from her husband after he shot her ran for her life before he allegedly killed himself in Mandurah yesterday.

Nola Elsie James, 75, fled her Goomarl Street home in Dudley Park about 8.10am after her 67-year-old husband Allan John James shot her in the upper body.

Ms James ran to a friend's home on neighbouring Boundary Road with the firearm that she had managed to grab from her husband.

The friend called emergency services and told police Mr James might still be armed.

Police, including tactical response group officers, cordoned off streets and tried to contact Mr James.

Insp. Wayne Hawes said the man was a gun owner and early reports suggested he had two firearms, excluding the one used to shoot his wife.

Almost three hours after the siege began and after several unsuccessful attempts to speak to Mr James, TRG stormed the home and found him dead next to another firearm.

Forensic officers will determine whether the fatal gunshot was self-inflicted.

Ms James was taken by St John Ambulance to Peel Health Campus for treatment for what was believed to be a chest wound.

She was released late yesterday.

Insp. Hawes said it was unclear what sparked the initial shooting. "There doesn't appear to have been any significant argument prior to the event but those investigations are still continuing," he said.

Mr James apparently had advanced cancer and other illnesses. A neighbour said Mr James appeared very ill when he was seen outside last week.

Other residents were left shaken at the news of the shooting.

"They are a very nice couple," one neighbour said. "They have lived here for a long time.

"It's very surprising. It does not seem real. Goomarl Street is usually a very quiet street." Goomarl Street resident Peter Winterswyk also said the couple seemed nice and friendly.

"They say hello to the kids and mind their own business," Mr Winterswyk said.

"I've been here for a couple of years and never heard any commotion coming from down there.

"Every second or third day, you'd see them walking down the road. They were just ordinary people. They seemed to be a retired couple."

The West Australian

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