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BUSHEY: Police officers stand guard by a forensic team tent in the north of London, on July 10, 2024 after a triple "crossbow attack" murder. — AFP
BUSHEY: Police officers stand guard by a forensic team tent in the north of London, on July 10, 2024 after a triple "crossbow attack" murder. — AFP

Suspected crossbow attacker murders BBC journalist’s family

UK police launch manhunt; Suspect believed to have ‘targeted’ journalist’s wife, 2 daughters

BUSHEY, United Kingdom: UK police were searching Wednesday for a suspect who may have a crossbow after the wife and two daughters of a BBC radio racing commentator were killed in a suspected “targeted” attack. Kyle Clifford, 26, from Enfield in north London, is 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. Local police 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 said armed officers and specialist search teams were involved in the manhunt, with the suspect believed to be in north London or around Bushey. Simpson also urged Clifford to contact police and warned the public not to approach the suspect. He 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 license 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”. 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”. One neighbor described hearing “shrill” screams from the home on Tuesday.

The 46-year-old who lives near the scene, said “absolute chaos” then broke out as armed police put the road into lockdown. “We had armed police running down, screaming ‘stay in your house’”, she added. Another neighbor 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 in 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. — AFP

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