St Leonards shooting: Tributes paid to mother and daughter shot dead in their East Sussex home

Sean Morrison
East Sussex: Police at the scene of the double shooting: PA

The relatives of a mother and daughter who were shot dead in their own home have paid tribute to the two “beautiful people that filled our family with laughter”.

Heather Witbread, 53, and Michelle, 32, were fatally wounded in the horrific attack in East Sussex on Friday night. They were named by police on Sunday afternoon.

A man, 35, who was known to the victims, has been arrested on suspicion of murder following the shooting in Bexhill Road in St Leonards that unfolded shortly before 8pm.

In a statement issued through Sussex Police today, their grieving family said: "Heather and Michelle were both beautiful people that filled our family with laughter.

"They were both special, generous and kind people who loved life, but most of all their family.

"They will both be sorely missed leaving a gap that can never be filled. We now just wish to be left to grieve in private as a family."

Officers were called to the house at 7.43pm on Friday, leading two other women, including one who is pregnant, to safety.

Two hours later the suspect was arrested and taken into custody, where he still remains, police said.

A firearm was also recovered.