British police launched a huge manhunt Wednesday for a man believed to be armed with a crossbow and potentially other weapons after three women were killed in a house northwest of London. The BBC said the women killed were the family of well-known radio racing commentator John Hunt.

Hertfordshire Police said Kyle Clifford, 26, was being sought over the suspected triple murder, which involved a crossbow and potentially other unnamed weapons. The public were urged not to approach Clifford if they see him.

Armed police officers and specialist search teams were “responding at pace in the wake of what has been an horrific incident,” Chief Superintendent Jon Simpson said.

Police said the three women — ages 25, 28 and 61 — were found seriously injured in a house in Bushey, northwest of London, on Tuesday evening. Police and ambulance crews tried to save them, but they were pronounced dead at the scene.

BBC family
Police and emergency services at the scene in Ashlyn Close, after an incident on Tuesday evening, in Bushey, Hertfordshire, England, Wednesday, July 10, 2024. British police were hunting for a man believed to be armed with a crossbow on Wednesday after three women were killed in a house near London. The BBC said the women killed were the family of its main radio racing commentator John Hunt.Photo by James Manning /THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

BBC Radio 5 Live, the corporation’s main news and sports radio channel, said the victims were Carol Hunt, wife of its commentator John Hunt, and two of their daughters.

John Hunt is BBC radio’s main horse racing commentator, his voice 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 incident as “utterly devastating” and that it will provide Hunt “with all the support we can.”

Police did not say whether Clifford, who is from London, was connected to the women, but British media reported that he was an ex-boyfriend of one of the daughters. The BBC reported that Clifford left the British Army after a brief period of service in 2022.

Local councillor Laurence Brass, who lives nearby, said the area is “a typical leafy British suburb.”

“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.

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

Britain’s new home secretary, Yvette Cooper, said she is being kept “fully informed” about the “truly shocking” incident.

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

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

Our website is the place for the latest breaking news, exclusive scoops, longreads and provocative commentary. Please bookmark and sign up for our daily newsletter, Posted, here.