Sheffield man shot himself and his dog

Coroner Chris Dorries.
Coroner Chris Dorries.
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A man has shot himself and his dog dead after writing a letter to South Yorkshire Police to inform them of his suicide plans.

Nigel Geoffrey Maskill, aged 58, from Westfield, Sheffield, was found slumped in his car in Ringinglow.

He had sent a letter to his local police station, Moss Way, detailing his ‘intention’ to kill himself and telling police officers where to find him.

During the opening of an inquest into Mr Maskill’s death, Coroner Christopher Dorries said when officers arrived in Ringinglow they found his body alongside that of his pet dog.

Both were inside Mr Maskill’s Vauxhall Astra, which was locked, and both had suffered fatal gunshot wounds.

Mr Maskill, who was single and unemployed and lived in Waterthorpe Glen, Westfield, was a licenced firearms holder.

Officers who discovered his body, a week ago, said there were a number of firearms with him.

Mr Dorries said: “On January 2 a letter was received at Moss Way police station, written by Mr Maskill and informing the police of his location and his intention.

“Police officers arrived at Ringinglow and found Mr Maskill’s lifeless body in his secure Vauxhall Astra.

“There were several firearms inside along with Mr Maskill’s dog, which was also deceased.

“Mr Maskill and his dog both had gunshot wounds.”

The coroner said Mr Maskill’s letter to the police indicated that he had also written to friends.

He said he wants anyone who received a letter to get in touch to help piece together the circumstances surrounding the death.

“The letter Mr Maskill sent to the police indicated that he had written to a number of friends, presumably about his demise, but we don’t know who these people are,” he said.

“If anyone who received a letter from Mr Maskill surrounding the circumstances of his death would contact the coroner here, then that may assist us in understanding the background to the death.”

A police spokeswoman said the death is not being treated as suspicious.

Anyone who received a letter from Mr Maskill should call the Medico Legal Centre on 0114 273 8721.