UK police detain crossbow attack suspect after 3 women killed

Published July 11, 2024
Police stand guard at Ashley Close in Bushey in the borough of Hertfordshire, north of London, UK on July 10. — AFP
Police stand guard at Ashley Close in Bushey in the borough of Hertfordshire, north of London, UK on July 10. — AFP

UK police said on Wednesday that a 26-year-old man was in custody after the wife and two daughters of a horse racing radio commentator were killed with a crossbow in a suspected “targeted” attack.

Kyle Clifford, 26, from Enfield in north London, was wanted in connection with the deaths of the three women in the town of Bushey, north of London, on Tuesday night.

The victims were Carol Hunt, the 61-year-old wife of BBC Radio and Sky Sports racing commentator John Hunt, and their two daughters, Louise, 25, and Hannah, 28, the broadcasters said.

In a statement on Wednesday, police said Clifford, who was found by officers in Enfield, “was known to the victims” and no additional suspects were being sought.

Clifford was “receiving medical treatment having been found with injuries”, police said.

No formal arrests have yet been made, police later said.

Local police previously said officers were called to a house in the leafy commuter town where the three women were pronounced dead at the scene.

Chief Superintendent Jon Simpson called it “a horrific incident involving what is currently believed to be a crossbow, but other weapons may also have been used”. A primary school in nearby Enfield kept children indoors during the police search.

There is no licence required to own a crossbow in the UK, but it is illegal to carry one in public without a reasonable excuse.

Interior minister Yvette Cooper called the deaths “truly shocking” and said she was being kept updated about the inquiry.

A spokeswoman for her department said legislation was “under constant review and a call for evidence was launched earlier this year to look at whether further controls on crossbows should be introduced”.

She said the minister would “swiftly consider the findings to see if laws need to be tightened further”.

‘Shocking’

BBC Radio ‘Five Live’ sent a note to staff calling the incident “utterly devastating”.

On Wednesday evening, Hunt’s colleague presenter Mark Chapman offered tearful condolences on air, saying, “This has been a heartbreaking day.”

Sky Sports Racing said on X that the team was “deeply saddened by the tragic deaths” and “our thoughts are with our colleague John Hunt, his family and friends at this awful time”.

Near the Hunt home, neighbour Su Kehinde, 60, who came to lay flowers by the scene of the tragedy, said, “They were the loveliest, gentlest family.”

Another neighbour told reporters the victims were a friendly family.

“We would see them every day passing by and they would say good morning,” she said. “It’s really sad what’s happened, very shocking.”

In March, a 47-year-old man was arrested after two people were injured in separate crossbow attacks in London’s Shoreditch area.

Last October, Jaswant Singh Chail, 21, was jailed after being found on the grounds of Windsor Castle, west of London, with a loaded crossbow. He broke into the royal residence on Christmas Day 2021 and told police he was trying to kill Queen Elizabeth II.

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