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Tributes for John Hunt, BBC sports commentator whose wife and daughters were killed in suspected crossbow attack


Figures from across the sporting world have expressed their condolences to a BBC sports commentator after his wife and two daughters were killed by a suspected crossbow shooter, with the deaths drawing renewed attention to rampant violence against women.

Carol Hunt, 61, wife of BBC horse racing commentator John Hunt, and their daughters Hannah Hunt, 28, and Louise Hunt, 25, died on Tuesday as a result of an attack in Bushey, northwest of London, police and British public broadcaster said.

A 26-year-old suspect, Kyle Clifford, wanted in connection with the murders, was found by British police in Enfield, north London, on Wednesday after an extensive manhunt. Clifford is being treated for his injuries, Hertfordshire Police said in a statement, adding that no arrests have been made so far.

A crossbow is believed to have been used in the incident, which police described as a “targeted incident.” Other weapons may also have been used.

British sisters Hannah Hunt (left), 28, and Louise Hunt (right), 25, succumbed to their injuries.

The murders of the three women shocked Britain, where mass killings are rare but violence against women and girls is officially considered a national threat.

Every three days a woman is killed by a man in the UK and one in four women will be a victim of domestic violence in her lifetime, said the United Nations Special Reporter on violence against women and girls, Reem Alsalem, earlier this year.

British Home Secretary Yvette Cooper described the attack as “truly shocking” and added that she was being “kept fully informed” by the authorities.

The country’s new Labour government has launched its election campaign with a manifesto calling for it to tackle “the scourge of violence against women and girls” in the UK, including a review of the sentencing system and a requirement for police to prosecute repeat offenders using the same tools used to combat terrorism and investigate serious organised crime.

Numerous BBC journalists paid their last respects to their colleague and expressed their sadness throughout the organisation and the entire sports industry.

BBC sports presenter Mark Chapman said: “John Hunt is our colleague and our friend, not just to the current 5 Live Sport team but to everyone who has worked with him here over the last 20 years.

“On behalf of everyone associated with 5 Live Sport, our love, thoughts and support are with John and his family,” Chapman said live on air.

Dan Walker, who used to present the BBC’s Football Focus, posted on X: “John Hunt is one of the best and his life was ripped apart yesterday.”

A woman lays flowers near the crime scene in Bushey, Hertfordshire on July 10.

Tim Peach, a producer at BBC Cricket, described Hunt as “one of the kindest and most thoughtful people I have ever worked with.” “He is second to none at his job,” Peach said on X, “but his favorite thing to talk about is ‘my Carol’ and ‘my girls.'”

Michael Owen, a former football player and racehorse owner, also posted on X after England’s victory at the European Football Championship, writing: “While the country celebrates, we should think of John Hunt. I can’t remember being so horrified in years. Those poor girls. Truly appalling.”

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) said in a statement that its condolences were with Hunt, his family and friends. “It is impossible to comprehend the horror that this horrific event has caused them,” said Julie Harrington, the BHA’s chief executive.

Ascot Racecourse, one of Britain’s most famous racecourses, echoed the BHA’s words, writing: “Our thoughts are with John Hunt at this tragic time.”

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