Tributes have been paid to the wife and daughters of BBC racing commentator John Hunt after they horrifically killed in a ‘targeted’ crossbow attack at their home.

Distraught neighbours and friends have said mother Carol, 61, and daughters Hannah, 28, and Louise, 25, were the ‘loveliest family’ after they were killed at their home in Bushey, Hertfordshire, on Tuesday evening.

This morning heartbroken loved ones attended a vigil for the women at their local church, with many who went seen arriving in tears at the deeply emotional event.

It comes as colleagues of Mr Hunt, who shares another daughter with Carol who was not present at the time of the attack and survived, have rallied around him during the ‘utterly devastating’ nightmare their family has been plunged into.

Today police are continuing to search a property in Enfield, believed to be linked to suspect Kyle Clifford, who was the subject of a huge 22-hour manhunt following the discovery of their bodies on Tuesday night.

He was tracked down to a cemetery in north London, with the ex-solder then being rushed to hospital after being injured – it is believed he turned the crossbow on himself with police saying they did not fire any shots during the operation to capture him.

Police are expected to issue an update on his condition later today, and while officers continue to investigate the killings, they say they are not looking for anyone else in connection.

It comes as it was revealed:

Carol Hunt, who was married to BBC horse racing commentator John Hunt (pictured together), was found fatally injured along with her two daughters at her home  

Hannah Hunt, sister of Louise and daughter of John, also died after being shot with a crossbow at the family's £800,000 home

Hannah Hunt, sister of Louise and daughter of John, also died after being shot with a crossbow at the family’s £800,000 home

Victim Louise Hunt is the ex-girlfriend of crossbow suspect Kyle Clifford

Victim Louise Hunt is the ex-girlfriend of crossbow suspect Kyle Clifford

Suspect Kyle Clifford with his ex-girlfriend Louise Hunt, who was one of the three victims

Suspect Kyle Clifford with his ex-girlfriend Louise Hunt, who was one of the three victims 

A huge manhunt is underway to find suspect Kyle Clifford, 26, who is the ex-boyfriend of John's daughter Louise

A huge manhunt is underway to find suspect Kyle Clifford, 26, who is the ex-boyfriend of John’s daughter Louise

Police sources say there is evidence the women were being tied up before being shot dead with a 3ft-long crossbow in a ‘targeted attack’ that may have also included ‘other weapons’ on Tuesday night. 

Tributes have since poured in for the family, with the BBC saying Mr Hunt is ‘utterly devastated’.

Around 50 people attended a vigil in their memory at a local church this morning, many of whom arrived in tears and were too upset to speak.

Inside Father David Stevenson paid tribute to the women, echoing the written tributes left to the family amid the bundles of flowers outside the police cordon.

At the vigil Father Stevenson said today was about ‘supporting the community’ and that the deaths had made people realise ‘we are just one big family’. 

Sue Kehinde, who lives close to the family’s home in Ashlyn Close, said they were ‘the loveliest, gentlest family’.

She said: ‘They were the meekest human beings. They did not deserve this. They were beautiful souls.’ 

Flowers were left at the scene on Thursday, with notes attached to some bouquets with messages such as ‘rest in peace’. 

One heartfelt message read: ‘For the three beautiful souls that left us too early. Wishing your onward journey is peaceful and full of love. To the family and friends, I wish you all the strength in the world to come to terms with your tragic loss.’ 

A member of the public dries her eyes at a vigil for Carol, Hannah and Louise Hunt at St James's Church in Bushey this morning

A member of the public dries her eyes at a vigil for Carol, Hannah and Louise Hunt at St James’s Church in Bushey this morning

People hug each other and shed tears as they remember the victims of the horrific murders at a vigil this morning

People hug each other and shed tears as they remember the victims of the horrific murders at a vigil this morning

Parishioners bow their heads as they listen to a sermon at a vigil for Carol, Hannah and Louise Hunt at St James's Church in Bushey this morning

Parishioners bow their heads as they listen to a sermon at a vigil for Carol, Hannah and Louise Hunt at St James’s Church in Bushey this morning

Father Stevenson delivers a sermon to members of the public at a vigil being held this morning for three women who were killed

Father Stevenson delivers a sermon to members of the public at a vigil being held this morning for three women who were killed

Flowers left outside the house where the bodies of Carole, Hannah and Louise Hunt were found on Tuesday

Flowers left outside the house where the bodies of Carole, Hannah and Louise Hunt were found on Tuesday

In one message bereaved neighbours paid tribute to the 'three beautiful souls that left us too early'

In one message bereaved neighbours paid tribute to the ‘three beautiful souls that left us too early’

Floral tributes left outside the police cordon close to the scene where the three women were killed

Floral tributes left outside the police cordon close to the scene where the three women were killed 

Jockeys wear black armbands at Kempton Park Racecourse yesterday out of respect for John Hunt

Jockeys wear black armbands at Kempton Park Racecourse yesterday out of respect for John Hunt

Neighbours had alerted police to the horrifying attack after hearing the terrified screams of the women in their quiet cul-de-sac in Hertfordshire on Tuesday evening.

By the time police arrived at the property the assailant had fled, with officers believed to have contacted Mr Hunt as he returned from working at Lingfield Park course.

Although police and ambulance had rushed to the house, they were unable to save the three victims who died at the scene.

It wasn’t long before detectives were on the trail of a suspect after a figure was seen darting out of an alleyway directly behind the murder scene. Clad in black, the man was captured on camera calmly striding away with what appeared to be a crossbow tucked under his arm hidden beneath a white sheet.

Chillingly, he passed within feet of a female neighbour, who stood alone on her driveway stroking a cat and seemed startled by the sight of the barely concealed weapon at 6.50pm.

Within hours, a national manhunt was under way for former soldier Kyle Clifford, who was named by police in a highly unusual step. The 26-year-old had previously served in the Queen’s Dragoon Guards for a short time before dropping out having failed to impress superiors, it was said last night.

As they attempted to track him down, police warned the public not to approach the suspect, who was last seen driving off from the cul-de sac in a grey vehicle the previous evening. 

John with his wife Carol, who was found with fatal injuries at their £800,000 detached house in Bushey, Hertfordshire

John with his wife Carol, who was found with fatal injuries at their £800,000 detached house in Bushey, Hertfordshire 

Carol Hunt (pictured) and her two daughters were tied up before being shot with a crossbow, MailOnline understands

Carol Hunt (pictured) and her two daughters were tied up before being shot with a crossbow, MailOnline understands

The suspect was seen being stretchered from a cemetery in north London yesterday after a 22-hour police manhunt

The suspect was seen being stretchered from a cemetery in north London yesterday after a 22-hour police manhunt 

Armed police carrying guns run into Lavender Hill Cemetery in Enfield on Wednesday afternoon

Armed police carrying guns run into Lavender Hill Cemetery in Enfield on Wednesday afternoon

An ambulance at the scene at Lavender Hill Cemetery in Enfield on Wednesday afternoon

An ambulance at the scene at Lavender Hill Cemetery in Enfield on Wednesday afternoon

As police scoured the area, their attention turned to Clifford’s hometown of Enfield, with officers carrying out raids and locking down primary schools in a bid to catch him.

Bystanders captured the moment police raided a property in Rendlesham Road, believed to be where Clifford lived, with officers continuing to search the address today. 

Armed police and paramedics were filmed on Wednesday afternoon running into Lavender Hill Cemetery in Enfield as the hunt continued for Clifford, a former soldier and security guard.

Later, armed police closed down the cemetery, a five-minute walk from the house linked to the suspect. Up to four black-clad officers – two carrying automatic rifles – stood guard at the cemetery gates, preventing members of the public from entering.

Meanwhile, an ambulance rushed into the cemetery grounds with blue lights flashing and sirens on just after 4.30pm after Clifford seemingly shot himself with the crossbow.

Around 20 minutes later he was stretchered from the scene and taken by ambulance to Royal London Hospital, where he received medical treatment overnight.

Police confirmed no shots had been fired by officers and nobody else was being sought.

A London Ambulance spokesperson said yesterday: ‘Ambulance crews and London’s air ambulance attended an incident in Lavender Hill Cemetery, Enfield, this afternoon. We treated a man at the scene and took him to a major trauma centre.’ 

Kyle Clifford dropped out of the army weeks before he is alleged to have murder three people

Kyle Clifford dropped out of the army weeks before he is alleged to have murder three people

Armed police searching Lavender Hill cemetery in Enfield as the hunt for fugitive Kyle Clifford took a new turn

Armed police searching Lavender Hill cemetery in Enfield as the hunt for fugitive Kyle Clifford took a new turn 

Forensics were seen outside Lavender Hill Cemetery in Enfield as the manhunt for Kyle Clifford continued

Forensics were seen outside Lavender Hill Cemetery in Enfield as the manhunt for Kyle Clifford continued

Colleagues of Hannah took to Facebook to pay tribute to the ‘fantastic therapist’ who was ‘loved’ by her clients.

The Anti-Ageing Clinic  at Radlett wrote on Facebook: ‘It is with deep regret and sadness of the horrific murder on Tuesday night of our skin therapist Hannah.

‘She was a fantastic therapist and clients loved her.

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

Neighbours claimed Clifford had been in a relationship with the Hunts’ youngest daughter, Louise, but she split up with him a week ago.

Their parting is said to have left her so shaken that she recently crashed her car into a telegraph pole outside the family home.

Neighbour Glyn Nicholas, 77, said: ‘Louise was a very nice girl. She ran a dog grooming business from the house. I heard that she split from a boyfriend last week and was very upset about it.

‘A friend of Louise’s told me that her car door had caved in because of the crash.’

A police officer walks down the road at the site of a triple murder in Bushey on Wednesday

A police officer walks down the road at the site of a triple murder in Bushey on Wednesday

An officer stands next to a police a car outside the scene of a triple murder in Ashlyn Close, Bushey

An officer stands next to a police a car outside the scene of a triple murder in Ashlyn Close, Bushey

An aerial view of the scene of the suspected triple murder in Bushey, Hertfordshire

An aerial view of the scene of the suspected triple murder in Bushey, Hertfordshire 

A blue and white forensic tent has been erected in the front garden of one of the homes in the cul-de-sac in Bushey where the killings took place

A blue and white forensic tent has been erected in the front garden of one of the homes in the cul-de-sac in Bushey where the killings took place 

He added: ‘Carol was a nice, polite and quiet lady. She was at home a lot of the time.

‘They were all very nice, a private family. They all did their own things. Louise started a business a couple of years ago, and it was a thriving business – we all took our dogs there to be groomed.

‘A very close-knit family and they used to love the street. They’d had a lot of work done on their house over the years.’

Mrs Hunt, a mother of three, had recently told friends at her local gym that her youngest daughter was involved in a ‘messy break-up’ with her boyfriend.

One suggested her daughter’s relationship had turned nasty.

A friend said: ‘She said her daughter’s split with her boyfriend was messy. Carol did not go into too much detail, but you could see she was concerned.’

Days before she was killed Louise had shared a post on social media praising ‘women who leave’.

The young dog groomer reposted her final tweet on social media platform X on July 3, which read: ‘I admire women who leave, idgaf if you left after the 1st time or the 12th time I admire s***! 

‘Idgaf if ppl calling you dumb for 11 years but in the 12th year you decided you was done. It takes A LOT of strength to break a tie. It takes ALOT of self love to choose yo self.’ 

Yesterday neighbours revealed that Clifford had been in a relationship with the Hunts' youngest daughter, Louise, but she split up with him a week ago

Yesterday neighbours revealed that Clifford had been in a relationship with the Hunts’ youngest daughter, Louise, but she split up with him a week ago

Louise Hunt shared her final post on social media platform X on July 3, praising 'women who leave' for their 'strength'

Louise Hunt shared her final post on social media platform X on July 3, praising ‘women who leave’ for their ‘strength’ 

Hannah Hunt, 28, and mother Carol Hunt, 61, were also killed in the tragic attack on Tuesday

Hannah Hunt, 28, and mother Carol Hunt, 61, were also killed in the tragic attack on Tuesday 

The three women lived with BBC star John Hunt (pictured), who was at work at the time of the attack

The three women lived with BBC star John Hunt (pictured), who was at work at the time of the attack

The BBC confirmed that Mr Hunt’s wife and two daughters had died and messages of condolence have been posted on social media by figures from the racing world. 

The BBC has called the murders ‘utterly devastating’, adding in a note to staff: ‘Our thoughts are with John and his family at this incredibly difficult time and we will provide him with all the support we can.’

His colleague at Radio 5 Live Mark Chapman opened his coverage of England’s Euro 2024 semi-final by paying a tearful tribute to his friend. 

Speaking with a quivered voice on the radio last night, sports presenter Chapman said: ‘This has been a heartbreaking day. John Hunt is our colleague, and our friend, not just to the current 5 Live Sport team, but to all of those who have worked here with him over the past 20 years.

‘And also, to all of you who have enjoyed his superb commentaries. So, on behalf of everybody connected to 5 Live Sport, our love and thoughts and support are with John and his family.’

Yesterday jockeys at Kempton Park Racecourse wore black armbands as they took part in races as a mark of respect of Mr Hunt. This afternoon there will be a minute’s silence at Newmarket Racecourse in Suffolk in memory of his family.

Julie Harrington, chief executive of the British Horseracing Authority, said: ‘The thoughts of everyone at the BHA are with John Hunt, his family and friends. 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.’

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