A Wild West fanatic, who was like a “lost soul” when he was told his wife would be taken into a home, was shot dead by police.
Gun-enthusiast Mervyn Tussler, 64, is believed to have run rampage with an antique gun after he was given news that Winifred, his wife of 15 years, would have to live in a care home.
The father-of-two was shot by police called to the street where he lived in Fernhurst, near Midhurst, today.
Close friend Peter Goodman, 55, of South Leys, said: “He was a nice pleasant and cheerful man, but since his wife Win has been away he's been down.”
Mr Goodman said Mr Tussler had been told on Wednesday that his sick wife would not be returning to their home.
Mrs Tussler is currently in Guildford Hospital where she was admitted four weeks ago with a serious urinary tract infection.
Mr Goodman said: “Mervyn has been caring for her for 15 years after she had a brain tumour and was not allowed to be left on her own.”
He added that his friend was a member of Headley Park Gun Club, where he would take part in Wild West reactments.
At the club Mr Tussler went by the nickname Rooster Cogburn, after his love of the John Wayne character in the film True Grit.
Mr Goodman said his friend held a fire arms licence and would shoot antique pistols and rifles with black powder, and had some antique pistols in his home.
Mr Goodman's partner Christine Munro, 57, said: “He looked after her so well he did his very best for her and it was a horrible shock that she was not coming home.
“He used to say 'I want my Win back' and it would break your heart.
“He was a bit like a lost soul when she was in hospital.”
Another Ash Grove resident said a man in his 60s was seen waving a gun in front of other pensioners at a warden-controlled property in the village.
The witness, who did not want to be named, said a police woman ran across the car park saying: "We have stunned him. Get an ambulance."
A police spokeswoman denied reports that there had been any hostages taken during the incident.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission said officers were called to Ash Grove, Fernhurst at 11.20am, by a woman reporting a man with a gun.
Firearms officers were deployed to the scene and at about 2.20pm Mr Tussler was fatally shot by police and pronounced dead at the scene.
PCC Commissioner Mike Franklin said: “IPCC investigators are currently carrying out enquiries to establish exactly what happened in this case.
"We will be looking at the actions and decision-making of the firearms officers involved and the command and control of the whole incident.”
Mr and Mrs Tussler lived in Ash Grove, a sheltered housing complex run by Hanover Housing Association, off the Leys.
A spokesman for Hanover said: “We are desperately sorry to hear about this tragic event.
“We will continue to work with police and the relevant authorities.
“Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.”
Do you live in the area? Did you see what happened or know the man involved? Call The Argus on 01273 544516 or email email@example.com.