Bernice Cassar shot in the face and chest

Murder victim Bernice Cassar was shot twice and died on the spot with police confirming that her husband is the prime suspect

Bernice Cassar (left) was shot and killed by her husband Roderick Cassar (right) at the Corradino industrial estate (Photo: Facebook)
Bernice Cassar (left) was shot and killed by her husband Roderick Cassar (right) at the Corradino industrial estate (Photo: Facebook)

Murder victim Bernice Cassar was shot in the face and chest by her estranged husband, police confirmed on Tuesday evening.

During a crime conference at the police depot, Police Commissioner Angelo Gafà gave details of the gruesome murder that occurred at the Corradino industrial estate.

Gafà confirmed that the woman’s husband is the prime suspect, although he did not name him.

MaltaToday is in a position to confirm that the murder suspect is Roderick Cassar, 40, from Qrendi. The two got married nine years ago and have two young children.

Gafà said that the man fired three shots, two of which hit the woman in her face and chest. He said police were talking to witnesses but would neither confirm nor deny reports on TVM that the perpetrator physically assaulted the woman before shooting her.

Cassar, 40, bled to death outside her vehicle.

The crime conference took place as police continue to negotiate with the perpetrator who has remained holed up in his Qrendi residence since 9:30am.

Gafà said two police officers were leading the negotiations to try and convince the man to give himself up. The man is alone in the house.

The Police Commissioner was reluctant to give further details on the ongoing operation and whether the perpetrator was making any demands. Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri said earlier in parliament that trusted relatives were cooperating with the police to convince the man to give up.

Gafà confirmed that the man used a shotgun to kill his wife and police believe he still has it with him inside the house. The man had no firearm licence.

The victim had filed five police reports against her husband for domestic violence, one of them as recently as Monday morning, the day before she was murdered.

Gafà said charges had been issued for three of the reports that were filed in May and the relevant court cases were scheduled to be heard in November 2023.

The police had received two other reports from the victim, one earlier this month and another yesterday morning. Gafà said both these reports were still being investigated.

“The police had already interrogated the aggressor and upon the recommendation of the victim’s lawyer, a restraining order was sought,” Gafà said. The latest reports concerned breaches of the restraining order.

He said the police reports primarily concerned psychological abuse but one of the cases involved minor physical injuries. The victim was being given support by the police victim support agency.

Magistrate Noel Bartolo is leading an inquiry into the murder.