A 61-year-old man gunned down by intruders at a house in East Dorset has been named by police as Guy Hedger.
Detectives have launched a murder probe following the incident in the St Ives area of Ringwood in the early hours of Sunday.
Dorset Police deployed a “heavy police presence” in the area and the house was sealed off in the wake of the shooting, the Press Association reported.
The force said officers were called to an address in Castlewood at 3.03am to reports that “at least two” intruders had entered the property.
Guy Hedger has been named by police as the man shot dead by intruders
A spokesman said: “One of the occupants – named by detectives as 61-year-old Guy Hedger – was shot.
“Officers attended the address and Guy was taken to hospital where he was sadly pronounced dead a short time later.”
Police said a second person in the property at the time has been “deeply affected by the incident” and is being supported by specially trained officers.
After Hedger’s next-of-kin were informed they asked for privacy at the “deeply traumatic time”, a spokesman added.
Detective Chief Inspector Sarah Derbyshire said police do not believe Hedger was known to the intruders, although all lines of inquiry are being pursued.
She said: “At this stage we are still trying to establish exactly what happened at the address in Castlewood and how and why the victim was shot dead.
“Currently we do not believe the offenders were known to the victim, however we continue to investigate all lines of inquiry.
“I am appealing for anyone who may have seen or heard anything suspicious in the area, or was in the area at that time, to contact Dorset Police as soon as possible.
“There will be a heavy police presence in the vicinity and officers from the local Neighbourhood Policing Team will be carrying out high-visibility patrols to offer reassurance to the community and can be contacted with any concerns.”
Dorset Police urged anyone with information to contact at www.dorset.police.uk, via email firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 101, quoting incident number 30:53.
Alternatively they can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.