‘Screams and absolute chaos... and then armed police arrived’ how the hunt for crossbow murder suspect unfolded

11 July 2024, 08:25 | Updated: 11 July 2024, 08:35

Crossbow suspect Kyle Clifford, 26, was found with injuries in Lavender Hill Cemetery in Enfield, north London, on Wednesday afternoon
Crossbow suspect Kyle Clifford, 26, was found with injuries in Lavender Hill Cemetery in Enfield, north London, on Wednesday afternoon. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

A triple murder suspect remains in hospital after being found in a cemetery following a manhunt sparked by the killings of a mother and two of her daughters.

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Kyle Clifford, 26, was wanted in connection with the crossbow killings of Carol Hunt, 61, wife of BBC 5 Live racing commentator John Hunt, and two of their daughters, Hannah, 28, and Louise, 25.

He was found with injuries in Lavender Hill Cemetery in Enfield, north London, on Wednesday afternoon and was taken to a major trauma centre for treatment.

Police confirmed no shots had been fired by officers and said no arrest had yet been made.

Neighbours have told of the ‘screams’ and ‘absolute chaos’ that preceded the suspect being taken to hospital.

Neighbours have told of the ‘screams’ and ‘absolute chaos’ that preceded the suspect being taken to hospital
Neighbours have told of the ‘screams’ and ‘absolute chaos’ that preceded the suspect being taken to hospital. Picture: Alamy

Glyn Nicholas, 77, a neighbour, told The Times: “Louise had split up with a boyfriend. She was upset and crashed the car into the post because of the break up. The [car] door was caved in.”

He added: “They were a private family, all very nice.

Victim Louise Hunt, 25,  is the ex-girlfriend of crossbow suspect Kyle Clifford
Victim Louise Hunt, 25, is the ex-girlfriend of crossbow suspect Kyle Clifford. Picture: Facebook

"Louise started a business a couple of years ago, and it was a thriving business - we all took our dogs there to be groomed."

Another neighbour said she heard screaming between 6.30pm and 7pm on Tuesday.

Hannah Hunt, 28, and her mother Carol Hunt, 61, were also found dead
Hannah Hunt, 28, and her mother Carol Hunt, 61, were also found dead. Picture: Social Media

Read more: Last 999 call of women victims of ‘crossbow killer' as they begged for help after being tied up and fatally wounded

A woman delivers floral tributes to the scene in Ashlyn Close, Bushey, Hertfordshire
A woman delivers floral tributes to the scene in Ashlyn Close, Bushey, Hertfordshire. Picture: Alamy

“It literally just sounded like kids, somebody screaming, and then it was more shrill and I was like ‘that’s definitely a woman screaming’, and within 15 minutes, it was absolute chaos,” she said.

“We had armed police running down, screaming ‘stay in your house’… They shut us off and basically put us into lockdown,” the neighbour added.

Neighbour Su Kehinde, 60, who laid flowers at a makeshift tribute in the area on Wednesday, said: "They were the loveliest, gentlest family.

More residents leave floral tributes at the scene
More residents leave floral tributes at the scene. Picture: Alamy

"They were the meekest human beings. They did not deserve this. They were beautiful souls."

Her daughter April, 32, said that Hannah "always had a smile" and was "hard-working, a hard grafter and really gentle".

Another neighbour said a man turned up in a Mini and parked in the middle of the street - he said that his “girlfriend had been injured. He said he had received a phone call from the police.”

That man is believed to have been Hannah’s boyfriend.

Forensics officers at the scene where the women were killed
Forensics officers at the scene where the women were killed. Picture: Alamy

Armed police went door-to-door telling people to stay inside and requesting doorbell camera footage.

Schools in the area were placed into lockdown as police continued their hunt for the crossbow attacker.

Jade-Simone Bacon, head teacher of St Michael’s Primary School, said it had been visited by police and she had made the decision not to let children into the playground for the day. “The police have advised us to continue business as usual so we have locked the building and will continue teaching,” she said.

Yesterday afternoon police and paramedics swarmed on to Lavender Hill cemetery.

LBC’s Charlotte Lynch was at the scene to watch emergency services respond.

Suspect Clifford was filmed by a news helicopter being stretchered away to an ambulance at about 4.30pm and taken to the Royal London Hospital.

Rae Cresswell, 26, a local who filmed the commotion, said: "I saw about ten officers coming in. I was quite worried because they were armed and there were dogs with them.

"I asked them if they wanted me to leave but they said it was fine to stay. They started checking the area so I left shortly after and came back to see all these vehicles."

Hertfordshire Police released a statement at 6.23pm, confirming Clifford had been apprehended.

In a note sent to BBC 5 Live staff after the deaths, the broadcaster 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."

Radio 5 Live presenter Mark Chapman also paid an emotional tribute at the start of the Euro 2024 pre-match show.

Speaking through tears, he said: "This has been a heartbreaking day.

"John Hunt is our colleague and our friend, not just to the current 5 Live sport team but to all of those who have worked here with him over the past 20 years and also to all of you who have enjoyed his superb commentaries.

"On behalf of everybody connected to 5 Live sport, our love and thoughts and support are with John and his family."

BBC racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght said: "Like everyone else I feel numb and sick on John's behalf at such incomprehensible evil.

"Everyone who knows John knows he is the absolute archetypal family man, so proud of them, so it's impossible to know what he can be going through."

Neighbours laying flowers at the scene in Bushey on Wednesday described the family as "beautiful souls".

A friend of Louise Hunt, who knew her from their time at school, told BBC News she was "always a positive person" and that he could not think of "anything bad to say about her".

The Home Secretary is urgently considering whether tougher crossbow laws are needed in the wake of the killings.

Yvette Cooper will look at the findings of a Home Office review carried out earlier this year.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: "We keep legislation under constant review and a call for evidence was launched earlier this year to look at whether further controls on crossbows should be introduced.

"The Home Secretary will swiftly consider the findings to see if laws need to be tightened further."

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