Domestic violence the cause of married couple's shooting deaths: Police

Police in Dishoek, Zeeland investigate Serbia couple's shooting deaths
Investigators work in Dishoek where a Serbian woman and her husband were found shot to death. Apr. 13, 2017. (photo: Politie)

Authorities positively identified two shooting victims as a 43-year-old man and his 39-year-old wife, police said on Monday. The victims were at the edge of Dishoek, Zeeland last week.

A pistol was found at the side of one of the victims, police reported, but they did not state whether it was the man or woman who was armed with the weapon. Domestic violence is the likely motive in the case, police stated on Friday, later revising that to note that the precise cause of the shooting is under investigation.

Those killed were from Middelburg, where . Neighbors reported that the couple, parents of five children, were no strangers to authorities. 

Police did confirm that the woman made several declarations of domestic violence against her husband. “Several aid organizations were attempting to assist the family,” police said Friday night. However, despite this, the family often chose not to take assistance.

Authorities arrested the man after an assault in 2016, with the office of the mayor, Harald Bergmann, ordering a ten-day restraining order against him. This was not extended when the couple decided to continue their life together. The woman made another abuse allegation against her husband at the end of the year, which led to him being locked up for two months

He was convicted, and sentenced to an additional probationary period as well as a ban from their Middelburg residence.

It is not clear how the two wound up back together last week. “The couple probably met up on Wednesday, and they then went to the Verlengde Dishoekseweg together,” where they were found dead a day later, police said.

The two were parents to a three-year-old, a young teenager, and three adult-aged children.