Police search underway after 3 women killed in crossbow attack in U.K.

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London — Police in England were searching Wednesday for a 26-year-old man they believe could be armed with a crossbow in connection with a triple murder.

The Hertfordshire Police force said in a statement that officers were called to a property in Bushey, northwest of London, just before 7 p.m. (2 p.m. Eastern) on Tuesday, where they found three women with serious injuries.

Three ambulances, along with other emergency response vehicles including as Hazardous Area Response Team and two air ambulances were sent to the property, but all three of the women, who were believed to be related, died at the scene, the police said.

Officers were still searching on Wednesday for a man named Kyle Clifford, and they issued a public appeal for anyone with knowledge of his whereabouts to contact emergency services. The police advised people not to approach Clifford as "he may still be in possession of a weapon."

Bushey triple murder A forensic officer at the scene in Ashlyn Close, Bushey, Hertfordshire, where three women, who police believe to be related, were found with serious injuries and died at the scene a short time after police and paramedics were called just before 7 p.m. on July 9, 2024. James Manning/PA Images/Getty

The attack was carried out with a crossbow, Hertfordshire Police Chief Superintendent Jon Simpson said later, adding that other weapons may also have been used.

Police did not say whether Clifford had been known to the women, who were 25, 28 and 61 years old, but they said it was believed to have been a targeted incident.

Speaking on live television, Simpson appealed directly to Clifford on Wednesday, saying: "Kyle, if you are seeing or hearing this, please make contact," and urging him to call the U.K. emergency services number 999.

Britain's Home Secretary Yvette Cooper, the top government official in charge of law enforcement, said in a post on social media that she was being kept "fully updated" on the case, and she urged anyone with information to contact the police.

"The loss of three women's lives in Bushey last night is truly shocking. My thoughts are with the family & friends of those who have been killed & with the community," she said.

"We're very shocked," local city councilor Laurence Brass told CBS News partner network BBC News that. "We're not used to this in this area, it's a very typical, leafy Bushey suburb… and suddenly we're told there are three murders. We had a helicopter landing at the top of my road last night, police all over the place. So, I'm concerned for residents, who I think are a little bit traumatized by what's going on here."

Crossbows are legal in the U.K. and no license or registration is required to own one, though it is illegal to carry a crossbow in public without a reasonable excuse.

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