Former Miss Venezuela and husband shot dead by robbers
The British son of a retired university professor has been shot dead in Venezuela along with his beauty queen ex-wife by car thieves.
Expat travel firm boss Thomas Henry Berry, 39, was killed with 2004 Miss Venezuela winner Monica Spear, 29, after their car broke down on a motorway.
Their five-year-old daughter Maya Veliz was injured in the attack and is recovering in hospital with her grandparents by her side. Her life is not said to be in danger.
The dead man moved to Venezuela with his parents Tom and Kate when he was aged seven but used to travel back regularly to visit relatives and friends.
His sister Katie lives in Scotland after moving back to Britain several years ago with her Venezuelan-born husband Luis.
Murder squad detectives are hunting his killers, who struck after their victims broke down on a motorway.
Mr Berry's ex-wife had forged a successful new career as an actress and had returned to Venezuela for a family break from her new home in the States.
The pair divorced in 2013 after four years of marriage but had remained good friends and are thought to have holidayed together with their daughter Maya Veliz before Monday night's shooting.
They were travelling from Puerto Cabello towards Venezuela's third largest city Valencia in a grey Toyota Corolla when they were attacked. The incident took place in an area 200 miles west of Caracas called El Cambur.
Mr Berry was shot in the chest and his ex-wife is believed to have suffered multiple gunshot wounds.
Close friend Luis Dominguez, a former business partner of the dead man, told how he broke the news to Mr Berry's sister at her home in Edinburgh.
He said: "Thomas was a very close friend of mine. I'm absolutely devastated.
"He had already been shot once by robbers trying to steal his car.
"His friend died in the incident and although doctors saved his life, they couldn't extract the bullet and he still had it in his stomach.
"He moved to the States to get away from things here for a while but missed Venezuela and came back.
"His parents still live here but he's got family in England and used to go back every two years.
"He never adopted Venezuelan nationality despite all his years here and always used to wear an England shirt and cheer for his national side whenever there was a football match on.
"He also had a tattoo of a lion.
"I phoned his sister up to tell her because I didn't want her to read about what had happened to Thomas in the press.
"I'm not sure if she'll fly over or not.
"His parents are with his daughter in hospital and I haven't been able to speak to them.
"Thomas got divorced from his wife last year but they remained good friends."
He added: "If they're reporting in the Venezuelan press that he was Irish I don't know where they've got that information from.
"I saw his passport several times and he was definitely British.
"I'm pretty sure he came from London but I don't know exactly where he was from.
"His parents always used to say they came here for the climate."
The bodies of Mr Berry and his ex-wife were taken to a morgue in Valencia, the capital city of Carabobo State which lies around 110 miles west of the capital Caracas.
A team of detectives led by police chief Jose Gregorio Sierralta were sent from Caracas to Valencia to work on the case.
Police sources said early reports suggested the couple had been shot dead after putting up resistance before taking refuge in their car.
The vehicle they were travelling in has been taken to a police pound for forensic tests.
Two state prosecutors have been put in charge of the investigation into the double murder.
Venezuela is one of the world's most violent countries.
The capital Caracas has the sixth greatest homicide rate of any large city in the world, with 98.7 homicides per 100,000 residents in 2011.
There were 118,541 homicides in Venezuela between 1999 and 2010.
Speaking of her divorce from Mr Berry last year to a local newspaper, Monica Spear said: "It was a spectacular divorce.
"My friends ask me if I have suffered and they're amazed when I tell them I haven't.
"What happened is that I married a very civilised person and when we took the decision to go our separate ways we talked about the fact we had a daughter together and decided we should carry on seeing each other for the rest of our lives and it was best for our daughter that we got on well with each other.
"I want the best for him and he wants the best for me.
"I can assure you there are no problems between us."