Police have issued a direct plea to potentially armed triple murder suspect Kyle Clifford to “make contact” as a manhunt continues.

Clifford, from Enfield, north London, is wanted over the deaths of the women, aged 25, 28 and 61, who were found fatally injured in a house in Ashlyn Close, Bushey, Hertfordshire, just after 7pm on Tuesday.

Chief Superintendent Jon Simpson from Hertfordshire Police told reporters the murders are believed to be “targeted” and the force warned the public not to approach the suspect who “may be in possession of a crossbow”.

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He said: “Our overarching objective today is to protect public safety and to locate Kyle Clifford, who is wanted in connection with the murder of the three women in what we believe is a targeted incident.

“We have extensive police resources deployed to various locations in north London and also the Bushey area.

“The manhunt also involves armed police officers and specialist search teams responding at pace in the wake of what has been a horrific incident involving what is currently believed to be a crossbow, but other weapons may also have been used.”

(PA Graphics)

Addressing Clifford directly, he said: “Kyle, if you are seeing or hearing this, please make contact with the police.”

Mr Simpson repeated warnings to the public not to approach the suspect, but to call 999 if they see him.

A neighbour said screams were heard from a house in the quiet cul-de-sac where three women died.

The 46-year-old who works in the media and lives near the scene but asked not to be named, said “absolute chaos” then broke out as armed police put the road into lockdown.

She told the PA news agency: “It was between 6.30pm and 7pm last night and 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.

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

Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said she is being kept fully updated about the inquiry into the “truly shocking” deaths.

Officers and emergency medical crews including two air ambulances were sent to try to save the women, who were related, but they all died at the scene.

The previous government had considered tightening the laws around crossbows after would-be assassin Jaswant Singh Chail was encouraged by an AI chatbot to break into Windsor Castle on Christmas Day 2021 with a loaded crossbow to kill the late Queen.

Currently, there is no requirement to have a licence for a crossbow, but it is illegal to carry one in public without a reasonable excuse.