July 24th, 2024

Suspect in slaying of 3 women in ‘serious condition’ as UK police confirm recovery of crossbow

By Pan Pylas, The Associated Press on July 11, 2024.

A forensic officer at the scene in Ashlyn Close, Bushey, after an incident on Tuesday evening, in Hertfordshire, England, Wednesday, July 10, 2024. British police were hunting for a man believed to be armed with a crossbow after three women were killed in a house near London. Hertfordshire Police said Kyle Clifford, 26, was being sought over the suspected triple murder. (Jacob King/PA via AP)

LONDON (AP) – A man suspected of killing two sisters and their mother in a crossbow attack was in a “serious condition” at a London hospital, British police said Thursday as officers continued to carry out further searches of properties.

Tributes poured in for the three women who were found with serious injuries at their home in the quiet residential neighborhood of Bushey, northeast of the capital, on Tuesday evening. Police and ambulance crews tried to save Carol Hunt, 61, and her daughters Hannah, 28, and Louise, 25, but they were pronounced dead at the scene.

The women were the family of BBC radio’s horse racing commentator John Hunt. The killings prompted a major manhunt that led to the capture of the suspect, Kyle Clifford, on Wednesday in a cemetery near his home in Enfield, around 15 miles (24 kilometers) from the scene of the crimes.

Clifford, 26, was taken away on a stretcher from Lavender Hill Cemetery with undisclosed injuries. Police said no shots had been fired.

Hertfordshire Police said in a statement on Thursday that Clifford is in “a serious condition” and has yet to speak to officers. It added that a crossbow has been recovered as part of the investigation.

“This was an unprecedented attack and we are determined to understand the full circumstances of what happened that evening and the events leading up to it,” said Detective Superintendent Rob Hall, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit. “We are wholly committed to seeking justice for the victims and their family.”

At a memorial service at St. James’ Church nearby, shocked friends and neighbors expressed their sympathies for John Hunt and his one remaining daughter. Others laid flowers near the scene of the attack, which remained cordoned off.

“We grew up together and were pregnant at the same time,” said Lea Holloway, who had known Carol Hunt since she was 16. “This is the stuff nightmares are made of … I can’t imagine what it would be like.”

In a post on Facebook, Hannah Hunt’s colleagues at The Anti-Ageing Clinic nearby said it was with “deep regret and sadness” that they learned of the “horrific murder on Tuesday night of our skin therapist Hannah.”

Others remembered Louise Hunt through her work as a dog groomer. “RIP Louise. Reggie says thank you for making him look so handsome,” said one card accompanying a floral tribute left near the crime scene.

Police have not yet said how or whether Clifford was connected to the women, but said they believed the attack was targeted. British media reported that Clifford was an ex-boyfriend of one of the victims.

As well as searching Clifford’s house, police were also seen at a house linked to his brother, Bradley Clifford, who was jailed for life with a minimum term of 23 years for the murder of moped passenger Soban Khan in 2018.

The BBC confirmed the victims were the family of its sports commentator John Hunt, the main racing commentator for BBC 5 Live, the corporation’s news and sports radio channel. His voice is known to millions through his coverage of the world famous Grand National and The Derby.

BBC 5 Live’s lead presenter Mark Chapman, who had regularly introduced Hunt’s commentaries, struggled to hold back tears as he spoke about what had been “a heartbreaking day.”

The racing community also expressed its support for Hunt, with jockeys at Kempton Park Racecourse wearing black armbands and Newmarket Racecourse holding a minute’s silence.

People in Britain do not need a license to own a crossbow, but it is illegal to carry one in public without a reasonable excuse.

The new Labour Party government, which took office last week, said it would “swiftly consider” findings of a recently launched review into whether controls on owning crossbows should be tightened.

Security Minister Dan Jarvis said Home Secretary Yvette Cooper would “look clearly, very carefully at what happened yesterday ““ devastating events ““ and she will take a view in the near future.”

The weapon has been used in several high-profile crimes in recent years.

In December 2021 a would-be assailant carrying a loaded crossbow broke into Windsor Castle seeking to kill Queen Elizabeth II. Jaswant Singh Chail pleaded guilty to a treason charge and was sentenced last year to nine years in prison.

Share this story:

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x