Notts dad was gunned down as he fled attacker, inquest hears

Mourners leave tributes after the Tunisia beach massacre in 2015 / Walesby man John Stollery was killed in the attack.
Mourners leave tributes after the Tunisia beach massacre in 2015 / Walesby man John Stollery was killed in the attack.

An inquest has opened into the death of Nottinghamshire man John Stollery who was shot and killed during the Tunisian beach massacre.

My Stollery, from Walesby was one of 30 Britons killed by Tunisian student Seifeddine Rezgui on June 26 last year.

The 23-year-old opened fire on holidaymakers with an assault rifle killing 38 people in total including three people from Ireland, two Germans, a Belgian and a Portuguese woman.

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A former paratrooper, Mr Stollery worked for Nottinghamshire County Council for 33 years and spent 16 years as a social worker.

He and his wife were staying at the Port El Kantaoui at the resort near Sousse in June 2015, when he was shot in the head and died, aged 58.

His widow, Cheryl, spoke at the inquest into the deaths on Thursday, February 4 and described running when the pair heard gunshots, and as she turned back to check on her husband saw he was on the floor, already dead.

The inquest at the Royal Courts of Justice in London is expected to last until the end of February.

Cheryl and Matt Stollery said in a statement: “For us John’s family, it is important not only to confirm the circumstances of John’s death; we hope the Inquest will raise awareness of what happened and ultimately the findings and outcomes from the Tunisia Inquest will support ‘lessons being learnt’.

“We believe without any doubt proactive changes are required to prevent other individuals and families going through what we have had to face.

“We love and miss John terribly, our world has been shattered and we are totally devastated by the way he was taken from us by a mindless act of terrorism born out extremist behaviours and toxic ideologies.

“What is important to us today is our wish for John to be remembered and respected for the life he lived and the difference he was able to make for others; for us his family and as a social worker for children and young people and not just for the way he died.

“John inspired many through his strength of character, wicked sense of humor, his cheeky smile and the kindness he showed to all who knew him, those are just a few of the things that we loved about him. He never sought the limelight nor did anything for financial reward, he worked tirelessly, he was just ‘John’ a man who was there for everyone and nothing was ever too much trouble.

“I hope the portrait being read at his Inquest will honour him, his achievements, the difference he was able to make in his life and the love we shared.

“John will live on through the legacy he left with us and we will strive to carry forward his legacy ‘to make a positive difference and contribute to a brighter future for others"

Mrs Stollery has previously said in tribute to her husband: “John was a devoted husband, my best friend and a fantastic dad to our son Matthew and we miss him every moment of every day.

“We had so many plans and dreams about our future together and I feel so lost and empty without him."

Hundreds attended his funeral at St Edmund’s Church in Walesby last July.