Three women murdered in crossbow attack are family of BBC commentator John Hunt

BBC Racing radio commentator John Hunt with his wife Carol
BBC racing commentator John Hunt with his wife Carol

The racing world was united in support for BBC racing commentator John Hunt after his wife and two of his daughters were the victims of an appalling triple murder in Bushey, Hertfordshire.

The three women were found seriously injured in a property in Ashlyn Close just before 7pm on Tuesday. Tragically, they all died at the scene.

A statement from the BBC read: "The three women killed in Bushey are Carol Hunt, the wife of the BBC Racing radio commentator John Hunt, and two of their daughters."

The daughters have been named by the BBC as 25-year-old Louise and 28-year-old Hannah. The couple also have a third daughter.

Louise Hunt, 25, and Hannah Hunt, 28
Louise Hunt, 25, and Hannah Hunt, 28

More than 23 hours after the horrific crossbow attack, the BBC reported a substantial manhunt across multiple areas had resulted in the police finally having their chief suspect, Kyle Clifford, in custody.

Detective inspector Justine Jenkins, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, said: "A man wanted in connection with a triple murder in Bushey has been traced to a location in north London.

"Following an extensive search Kyle Clifford, aged 26, was found in the Enfield area by officers this afternoon. He is receiving medical treatment, having been found with injuries. No shots were fired by police.

"At this stage we believe the suspect was known to the victims. This continues to be an incredibly difficult time for the victims' family and we'd ask their privacy is respected as they come to terms with what has happened."

Jenkins added the investigation was "moving at pace", meaning police had not yet formally identified the victims. She added: "Following extensive inquiries, the suspect has been located and nobody else is being sought in connection with the investigation at this time."

Clifford, who the BBC reported "left the British army after a short period of service in 2022", had evaded capture for the best part of a day. Armed police raided an address in Enfield in relation to the triple murder on Wednesday morning, but it was not until the evening when locking down the area around Lavender Hill cemetery, also in Enfield, that it was confirmed Clifford had been detained.

There is currently a massive police search for Kyle Clifford
Chief suspect Kyle Clifford was detained on Wednesday

The horrific events in Bushey shocked the sport and in a reflection of grief and support jockeys wore black armbands at race meetings on Wednesday evening and will again on Thursday, with a minute's silence being observed.

British Horseracing Authority chief executive Julie Harrington said: "The thoughts of everyone at the BHA are with John Hunt, his family and friends at this shocking and tragic time.

"It is impossible to comprehend the horror that has been inflicted upon them by this dreadful event.

"John is a great friend to many in our sport and I am sure that in this time of unimaginable grief for him, the racing family will rally around as we have seen many times before when one of our number is faced with great trauma."

The key locations

Hunt's BBC colleagues were similarly devastated. In a note sent to BBC 5 Live staff on Wednesday, the organisation vowed to provide "all the support we can" to the broadcaster.

The note read: "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."

Speaking earlier in the day, Hertfordshire Constabulary chief superintendent Jon Simpson provided detail of the horrific attack.

He said: "Police were called to a property in Ashlyn Close just before 7pm last night. Officers attended alongside colleagues from the East of England ambulance service and, on arrival, found three women with serious injuries. Sadly, despite their best efforts, the women who are believed to be related died a short time later at the scene."

Simpson also confirmed the police believed the attack was "a targeted incident" and that both "armed police officers and specialist search teams" were responding to what he described as "a horrific incident, involving what is currently believed to be a crossbow, but other weapons may also have been used" and appealed to the public for any information that would aid Clifford's capture.

Police officers survey the scene in Ashlyn Close in Bushey, Hertfordshire
Police officers survey the scene in Ashlyn Close in Bushey, HertfordshireCredit: Leon Neal (Getty Images)

In a social media post on X, new home secretary Yvette Cooper said: "The loss of three women's lives in Bushey last night is truly shocking. My thoughts are with the family and friends of those who have been killed and with the community.

"I am being kept fully updated. I urge people to support Hertfordshire Police with any information about this case."

The three women were found seriously injured in a property in Ashlyn Close just before 7pm on Tuesday
The three women were found seriously injured in a property in Ashlyn Close just before 7pm on TuesdayCredit: Leon Neal (Getty Images)

The home secretary is also urgently considering introducing tougher crossbow laws in the wake of the murders. Responding to the Racing Post, a Home Office spokesperson said: "This is an appalling incident and the Home Secretary is being kept updated by the police.

"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."

John Hunt
John Hunt: had been working at Lingfield on TuesdayCredit: Edward Whitaker

Hunt, who worked for the police before beginning his broadcasting career with Ladbrokes in the 1980s, was working at Lingfield on Tuesday.

BBC Radio 5 Live's racing commentator since 2004, Hunt has formed a key part of the BBC's summer and winter Olympic commentary team since London 2012 – covering swimming, diving, equestrian sports, modern pentathlon and the luge – as well as occasionally commentating on football.

Deputy news editor

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