Triple crossbow murder suspect Kyle Clifford in 'serious condition' as weapon recovered

Triple murder suspect Kyle Clifford was on Thursday evening yet to speak with officers as he remained in a serious condition in a London hospital.

Wife of BBC commentator John Hunt, Carole, and their two daughters Hannah, 28, and Louise, 25, were found dead inside a house on Ashlyn Close in Bushey, Hertfordshire just after 7pm on Tuesday.

Clifford, 26, was found with injuries in the Hilly Fields area of Enfield, north London, on Wednesday following a manhunt which lasted for a number of hours.

Hertfordshire Police said a crossbow has since been recovered as part of the investigation.

Police confirmed they had received no earlier reports after exploring whether there had been previous contact with Clifford or the victims – as it emerged Louise was the ex-partner of the suspect.

During his trip to the Nato summit in Washington DC, Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer told the BBC: “First let me just say how awful this incident was, and our condolences and thoughts are obviously with all of the family members and family affected.

“In relation to crossbows, the Home Secretary has announced that she will look at the legislation, and she will.”

Colleagues and friends of the three victims have paid tribute to the “lovely family” since their deaths.

Lea Holloway, 60, a childhood friend of Carol Hunt, described her as a “beautiful person”.

Speaking outside St James’ Church on Thursday after a vigil for Mrs Hunt and her daughters, she said: “We grew up together and were pregnant at the same time.

“This is the stuff nightmares are made of.

“I was there the night she met John (Hunt). It was in a nightclub in Hemel Hempstead. We went out together, went to birthdays and events.

This is the stuff nightmares are made of

Lea Holloway, friend of Carol Hunt

“It’s very difficult. She was the nicest, kindest, sweetest person you could ever meet. A beautiful person.”

Ms Holloway continued: “They were a lovely family and (the daughters) were lovely girls.

“They were making their way through life and their lives have been taken too soon. It’s the thing of nightmares.

“I feel for their eldest daughter and John (Hunt). I can’t imagine what it would be like.”

After being joined by two other close friends, Dionne Smith, 58, and Abigail Phillips, 58, the trio told reporters: “We were a four, and now there’s only three.

“It doesn’t seem real. We are together in grief.”

In a post on Facebook, Hannah Hunt’s colleagues at The Anti-Ageing Clinic in Radlett, Hertfordshire, said it was with “deep regret and sadness” that they learned of the “horrific murder on Tuesday night of our skin therapist Hannah”.

The post continued: “She was a fantastic therapist and clients loved her.

“We send our condolences and prayers to her Dad, sister and family.

“She was very much a part of our team. Please bear with us at this terrible time.”

Providing an update on the investigation, Detective Superintendent Rob Hall, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, said: “This was an unprecedented attack and we are determined to understand the full circumstances of what happened that evening and the events leading up to it.

“This investigation, as I’m sure people can imagine, will take time.

“We are still appealing for anyone with information in relation to the incident on Tuesday evening in Bushey and activity in Enfield yesterday that could assist us to please contact police directly.”

On Thursday, further searches took place at a house linked to Clifford’s brother, Bradley Clifford, who was jailed for life with a minimum term of 23 years for the murder of moped passenger Soban Khan in 2018.

According to the Metropolitan Police, at the time of the murder Bradley Clifford had targeted the moped before crashing into it, and continued to assault Mr Khan after the collision.

Officers were seen at the address in Rendlesham Road, Enfield, north London, in relation to the deaths.

Police staff wearing gloves and face masks were seen outside the property, which was first searched on Wednesday.

Search officers appeared to retrieve two computer hard drives and two document bags from the address.

Flowers were left at the scene in Ashlyn Close on Thursday, with notes attached to some bouquets with messages such as “rest in peace”.

Clifford was found injured in Lavender Hill Cemetery in Enfield, north London, on Wednesday and was taken to a major trauma centre for treatment.

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

Armed police had earlier been in the area, with an air ambulance nearby.

Footage from Sky News appeared to show Clifford being stretchered out of the cemetery by paramedics and a further clip seemed to show the suspect been wheeled into the Royal London hospital.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct said it received a mandatory referral from the Metropolitan Police after Clifford was found by officers with serious injuries in Enfield, but was satisfied no investigation was needed.

A spokesperson said: “Based on the evidence provided, there does not appear to have been any physical contact with Mr Clifford at the time he was seriously injured. Therefore, we were satisfied the matter does not require investigation and it has been returned to the force to deal with.”

In a press conference before Clifford was found, Chief Superintendent Jon Simpson, from Hertfordshire Police, told reporters the killings were believed to have been “targeted”.

During the hunt for Clifford, who is understood to have left the Army in 2022 after a short stint, the force said they believed he may have been armed with a crossbow and warned people not to approach him.

He was believed to have been known to the victims.

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

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