Pictured on their fairytale wedding day: The dashing Royal Navy officer and his beautiful bride who observed him die after thieves ‘repeatedly’ ran him over with his OWN car as he attempted to protect her
By Ekin Karasin and Rory Tingle For Mailonline and Richard Marsden for the Daily Mail 11:36 BST twenty three Apr 2017, updated 09:07 BST twenty four Apr two thousand seventeen
- Michael Samwell, 35, and wifey Jessica heard a ‘noisy bang’ at 3am on Sunday
- He went down and died after attempting to stop thieves taking his black Audi S3
- The thugs fled the scene in the car – which was found bruised three miles away
- Manchester Police have launched murder investigation into the ‘dreadful crime’
Pictured on his wedding day, this is the former Navy officer who was mown down and killed as he attempted to stop thieves stealing his luxury car.
Michael Samwell, 35, rushed downstairs, followed by his wifey Jessica, just after 3am after being woken by a noisy bang.
The chartered engineer discovered thieves had cracked into the house and stolen the keys to his £35,000 Audi S3.
As he attempted to stop them, they ran him over – possibly several times – and drove off, leaving the former Royal Navy lieutenant dying in the street.
Accountant Mrs Samwell, 33, and neighbours in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, who had been woken by the noise, attempted to save him but Mr Samwell, who suffered numerous injuries, was dead on arrival at hospital.
Police said the Audi was driven away erratically and at some point lost a front wheel when it hit the kerb.
The killers continued on three wheels before abandoning the car three miles away.
Police are hunting the thieves, who they said had killed an virginal man who was merely attempting to protect his property.
Mourners gathered outside Chorlton Central Church to listen to a tribute and stand in quiet reflection before walking a few minutes to the scene on Cranbourne Road.
Rev Mike Walsh, 40, led a vigil of around thirty people just after 5pm today.
He said: ‘I’ve been out and about today talking with a lot of people in the area. It’s just a gigantic shock to the area.
‘There is a fine sadness here, but we are here to showcase our strength, love, care and support for Michael’s family. Bringing people together is the best we can do.’
The former submarine weapons officer’s house is on Cranbourne Road, a brief, leafy street where semi-detached houses sell for up to £500,000.
He married his long-term gf Jessica, an accountant, in July 2011, at a ceremony at Styal Lodge, Cheshire.
The officer wore his service uniform and fellow officers formed a guard of honour for the duo with their swords. The duo have no children.
Mr Samwell, who studied at Leeds University, joined the Royal Navy in two thousand two after training at the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth.
He worked as a weapons engineering officer onboard Devonport-based HMS Tireless, a nuclear-powered attack submarine.
He left the armed compels in two thousand fourteen and was working as a programme manager for Warrington-based engineers Atkins, which is building a nuclear power station in Cumbria.
The rock-hard said: ‘This is a tragic event and our thoughts go out to Mike’s family, friends and colleagues. We will support the family in any way we can.’
His brother was the victim of a similar break-in last January, the Telegraph reported. In his siblings’ case, the thieves got into his home and stole the keys to his van.
Mr Samwell’s uncle Cliff Blake told how yesterday’s tragedy had unfolded.
He said: ‘Jess eyed the entire thing happen. They heard something, as someone had violated in and Mike went downstairs to see what was going on.
‘Jess followed and Mike had gone outside… the person just drove at him and killed him.
‘Jess was there and witnessed it. It’s just horrific – she will have those photos with her for the rest of her life.’
Mr Blake, who runs a conservatory business, fought back tears as he paid tribute to his nephew.
‘Mike was a lovely lad, intelligent and well-liked,’ he said. ‘He was fit and sporty, a keen skier and cyclist. But there was no aggression in him at all. If only he hadn’t woken up.’
Mrs Samwell’s brother Simon Lowth said his sister was ‘heartbroken’ and exposed she cannot speak about what happened, even to her close family.
Mr Lowth, 48, said: ‘We are just in a state of shock. I have sent [Jessica] a text telling I was thinking of her and she just replied: “Thank you”.
‘I have spoken to our mum and she says that [Jessica] doesn’t want to speak to anyone. She is in total shock. She is totally heartbroken and we are all devastated for her.’
The Samwells had lived in the house in Cranbourne Road for less than two years. Before that they lived in London and in Wythenshawe, Manchester.
Cranbourne Road is surrounded by several quiet interlocking streets lined with terraced houses, many of which have well turned-out gardens.
Some homes are gated off with many cars, from BMWs to Mini Coopers, parked up on either side of the street.
Residents who live close to the leafy suburban area said they were shocked at what had happened.
Mr Foster, a 35-year-old university teacher, said: ‘It’s a shock but also not that surprising. You hear a lot about burglary in the area, it’s the Manchester capital for it.
‘But when I heard about it I was shocked that it happened so close to where I live. It’s awful that someone was just attempting to defend their property and that happened.
‘I live in a house share and we’re always fairly vigilant, but I suppose it would make you think even more about your home security.’
Peter Parry, 57, lives in Chorlton about half a mile away from the crime scene.
He said: ‘It’s terrible that that’s happened. There are few car thefts around here but it’s still surprising to here that someone was killed. I hope they catch whoever did it.’
Those at the vigil outside Chorlton Central Church said they felt compelled to gather and pay their respects to Mike and his friends and family.
Matt Clancy, 28, works in banking said: ‘I wished to come down because Chorlton is a indeed good community.
‘He was only attempting to protect when he’d worked hard to earn.’
Local bank manager Tom Neilson, 29, said: ‘There is a lot of goodness in the community here. We didn’t know him, but we just dreamed to demonstrate that.’
A woman who did not wish to be named said: ‘I was just so shocked and so sad. It’s so tragic. I just desired to be here.’
Detective Superintendent Jon Chadwick said: ‘My thoughts go out to Michael’s wifey and his family, I cannot comprehend what they must be going through.
‘We have now launched a murder investigation and are searching for those responsible.
‘This is the murder of an guiltless man who has merely sought to protect his property from criminals.
‘We will not stop until we have found the person responsible for this dreadful crime.’
He added: ‘It’s a very quiet residential area and a lot of noise was made. there will certainly be witnesses to this.
‘It’s evident to everyone here that this is a line that was crossed.
‘The persons who did this cannot be protected, Michael just went downstairs to investigate a noise at his address.’