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Manhunt: What do we know about deadly crossbow attack?



Manhunt: What do we know about deadly crossbow attack?

By Ruth ComerfordPaul GribbenBBC News

Hertfordshire Police Kyle CliffordHertfordshire Police

Hertfordshire Police believe Kyle Clifford may be in possession of a crossbow

This article contains details some readers may find distressing.

A huge manhunt for a potentially armed triple murder suspect is under way following the killing of the wife and two daughters of a BBC racing commentator.

Emergency services, including armed police, are involved in the search for the suspect in Hertfordshire and north London.

Police believe Tuesday’s attack was targeted and carried out with a crossbow, as well as possibly other weapons.

How did the attack unfold?

Three women were killed at about 19:00 on Tuesday evening in an attack which police believe involved a crossbow. Officers think that other weapons may also have been used.

All three victims are reported to have died at the scene in Ashlyn Close in Bushey, Hertfordshire.

A full-scale manhunt is under way to find suspect Kyle Clifford, 26, who is from Enfield, north London, and used to work as a security guard.

Armed policer officers and specialist search teams have been “responding at pace”, deployed to various locations in north London and the Bushey area of Hertfordshire.

On Wednesday afternoon, armed officers and ambulance staff were seen at a cemetery close to where a house was searched in the Enfield area of north London.

The cemetery has been closed off and an air ambulance was seen nearby.

Who were the victims?

They were: Carol Hunt, 61, the wife of BBC commentator John Hunt, and two of their three daughters – Louise, 25, and Hannah, 28.

Carol Hunt with BBC commentator husband John

Carol Hunt, 61, one of the three women killed, with her BBC commentator husband John

Louise Hunt Louise Hunt, 25, was killed along with her mother and one of her two sistersLouise Hunt
Hannah Hunt Hannah Hunt, 28, one of the three women killed in Tuesday's attackHannah Hunt

What do we know about the suspect?

Details are still emerging about the suspect but it is believed that Kyle Clifford left the British Army after a short period of service in 2022.

Police are treating the killings as a “targeted incident”.

Chief Superintendent Jon Simpson of Hertfordshire Police appealed directly to the suspect, saying: “Kyle, if you are seeing or hearing this, please make contact with the police.”

Timeline of events

  • Police officers were called to Ashlyn Close in Bushey, Hertfordshire, just before 19:00 on Tuesday, after a neighbour reported hearing screaming
  • The three women were found seriously injured and died at the scene despite the efforts of paramedics
  • Armed police searched a home in Rendlesham Road, Enfield, on Wednesday at around 08:00
  • Police confirmed that the murder was “targeted” and have warned the public not to approach Mr Clifford
  • “Extensive police resources”, including helicopters and armed officers, have been deployed to find the suspect
Locator map of scene of killings in Bushey, Hertfordshire

What if the suspect is spotted?

The police have warned the public not to approach Mr Clifford, who may still be in possession of a crossbow – anyone spotting him is being advised to dial 999 immediately.

They have also appealed to anyone who was near Ashlyn Close between lunchtime and early evening on Tuesday to get in touch.

One local councillor, Louise Nicholas, has said there is support available for residents affected by what has happened.

PA An aerial view of the scene of Ashlyn Close, Bushey, HertfordshirePA

An aerial view of the scene of Ashlyn Close, Bushey, Hertfordshire

What has the public reaction been?

John Hunt works for BBC Five Live as a racing commentator.

A spokesperson for the channel said: “The news today about John Hunt’s family is utterly devastating.”

“Our thoughts are with John and his family at this incredibly difficult time and we will provide him with all the support we can.”

Racing broadcasters have also been offering their condolences.

One of them, Matt Chapman, posted on X, saying it was “impossible to comprehend the pain”.

“Just know we are all here for you, John. We love you pal – racing loves you,” he says.

Commentator Mike Vince has said on X that his “heart bleeds” for Mr Hunt, adding that the incident was “simply shattering”.

Sky Sports Racing said its team was “deeply saddened” by the “tragic deaths”.

“Our thoughts are with our colleague John Hunt, his family and friends at this awful time,” it posted on X.

Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said the deaths were “truly shocking”, adding that she was being kept fully updated about the police investigation.

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