Emma Pattison, 45, the headmistress of Epsom College made a distressed call to her sister with concerns about her husband hours before she was shot by her husband, EmmanuelsBlog understands.
Killings believed to be murder-suicide as firearm registered to Mr Pattison discovered at family’s home.
Her body was discovered later that night along with the bodies of her seven-year-old daughter Lettie and husband George, 39.
In the first tribute from a friend of Mrs Pattison, Zoe Roberts said: ‘It is tragic and we wish this had never happened. She was beautiful, inside and out.
She was just the most wonderful person.
‘We can’t put it into words at the moment, it is too raw. We are still working it out. It is just a tragic loss.’
Police said on Tuesday that they were treating the incident as a murder investigation. A source briefed by officers said that police believed Mr Pattison shot his wife and daughter before killing himself.
A firearm registered to Mr Pattison was found at the family’s home.
He had been in contact with the police on Thursday about his gun licence to notify them of a previous change of address, which is routine. Surrey police have now referred themselves to the independent police watchdog over the murder-suicide.
It is thought that Mrs Pattison’s sister received the phone call on the night she was killed. She and her partner are believed to have rushed to the scene where the bodies were found.
Mr Pattison had never previously been reported to the police, it is understood. However, he made a complaint about his wife in 2016 following a domestic dispute. Police arrived at their home but he withdrew the complaint, saying it was trivial, according to The Times.
Shortly before Christmas, Mrs Pattison indicated that her appointment as the first female head of Epsom College, where she started in September, had put stress on the family.
In December, Mrs Pattison told a podcast run by students that her move had been ‘a really big change for my family’, adding: ‘I’ve got a new job, my husband got a new job, which wasn’t meant to happen, but did, and my daughter has started a new school.’
Surrey Police confirmed the family’s next of kin have been informed and are being supported by specialist officers.
Police said an investigation was being carried out to establish the full chronology and circumstances of the incident.
They confirmed a firearm, licensed and registered to Mr Pattison, had been found at the scene and has been recovered by officers.
However, causes of death will not be confirmed until post-mortem examinations have been completed later this week.
Mr Pattison’s gun licence had been recently updated.
Surrey Police made a routine phone call to the 39-year-old chartered accountant in the days preceding the killings, because the details of his new home address needed to be checked.
The force said that ‘due to the short period of time between that contact and this incident, we have made a referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC)’.
An IOPC spokesperson said: ‘We are assessing the available information to determine what, if any, further action may be required from us.
‘It is understood that the couple was not known to Surrey Police.
The school announced on Tuesday it would close until after the half-term break, after ‘incredibly distressing’ details emerged about how Ms Pattison died.