Two sisters aged four and two were blasted to death with a shotgun alongside their parents in a suspected murder-suicide during the coronavirus lockdown, a coroner heard.
Ava Needham, four, and two-year-old Lexi Needham were found dead with parents Robert Needham, 42, Kelly Fitzgibbons, 40, at the family home days after Boris Johnson imposed measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
The opening of their inquests heard they all suffered shotgun wounds and a gun, suspected to have been used in the tragedy, was discovered at the address in Woodmancote, West Sussex.
It has been previously reported that builder dad Robert allegedly killed his wife and two young daughters before taking his own life.
His own parents have said they have been left “devastated and bewildered” by the tragedy.
At the inquest hearing, Penelope Schofield, senior coroner for the county, was told Ms Fitzgibbons, a legal secretary, died from shotgun injuries to the head and neck.
The hearing was told her two young daughters died from shotgun wounds to the head and chest and Mr Needham, who was a builder, also died from shotgun injuries to his neck and head.
Ms Fitzgibbons was described by her sister as “wonderful and special” and a “dedicated and loving mother”.
The coroner’s officer Melanie Doyle told the hearing: “Kelly Fitzgibbons was found deceased inside her home address.
“She had injuries consistent with the use of a shotgun, which was also found within the house.
“The bodies of her partner and their two children were also found at the house.”
Sussex Police’s investigation continues into the deaths, which the force believes were an isolated incident.
Officers have so far refused to confirm who is suspected of carrying out the killings.
The full inquests will be held at a later date.