Home » British police track down suspect in crossbow killings of BBC presenter’s wife, daughters | CBC News

British police track down suspect in crossbow killings of BBC presenter’s wife, daughters | CBC News

British police track down suspect in crossbow killings of BBC presenter’s wife, daughters | CBC News

The man suspected of using a crossbow to kill the wife and two daughters of a well-known BBC radio commentator has been found and taken into custody, British police said Wednesday, ending a manhunt in north London.

In a statement, Hertfordshire Police said 26-year-old Kyle Clifford had been found in the Enfield area of the city’s north end, near his home, and that he is receiving medical treatment for injuries. Police did not say how those injuries happened but stressed that they had not fired any shots.

“Nobody else is being sought in connection with the investigation at this time,” said Detective Inspector Justine Jenkins from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit.

“This continues to be an incredibly difficult time for the victims’ family and we would ask that their privacy is respected as they come to terms with what has happened,” she added.

Jenkins said the investigation is moving “at pace” and that formal identification of the victims is yet to take place. 

The BBC reported earlier that the women killed were the family of its radio commentator John Hunt — his 61-year-old wife Carol Hunt and their daughters Hannah, 28, and Louise, 25.

Police had been scouring a park in north London, near Clifford’s home, after being alerted Tuesday about the killings in a house in Bushey, a residential area about 52 kilometres to the west. Police and ambulance crews tried to save the victims, but they were pronounced dead at the scene.

Two women walk on a street carrying bouquets of flowers.
Two women deliver flowers near the scene where three women were killed with a crossbow Tuesday evening. (Jonathan Brady/PA Images/Getty Images)

The public had been urged not to approach Clifford, who the BBC reported had been in the British army for a brief period in 2022.

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

The Daily Mail newspaper and others reported that he found the bodies early Tuesday evening after returning home from reporting at Lingfield Park racecourse south of London.

As part of a note sent to BBC staff, the broadcaster described the deaths as “utterly devastating” and that it will provide Hunt “with all the support we can.”

Attack not random: police

Police did not say whether Clifford was connected to the women, but British media reported that he was an ex-boyfriend of one of the daughters.

Chief Superintendent Jon Simpson suggested the attack was not random and that the suspect knew the family.

Local council member Laurence Brass, who lives nearby, said the area where the killings took place is “a typical leafy British suburb.”

Bouquets of flowers lay on the grass at the bottom of a sign that reads "Ashlyn Close." A blue hatchback car is parked behind the sign. On the left side of the frame, two police officers stand in front of white and blue police tape stretched across a road.
Mourners on Wednesday left flowers near the scene where the three were killed. All three women died before making it to hospital. (Jonathan Brady/PA/The Associated Press)

“At about eight o’clock last night, I was watching the football on television, and suddenly a helicopter landed in the lawn outside my flat, which is at the top of this road, and then my phone started going, and I was told that there was a major incident here in Bushey and we should all keep away because there was somebody apparently on the run,” he told the BBC.

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

A spokesperson for the Home Office said newly named Home Secretary Yvette Cooper will “swiftly consider” the findings from a recently launched review into whether further controls on crossbows should be introduced.