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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Tara Cobham and Jane Dalton

Cambridgeshire shooting: All we know as father and son killed and three arrested


A father and son were shot dead within an hour of each other in two quiet Cambridgeshire villages – with a custody battle being investigated by detectives as an "active line of inquiry".

Police described the attacks on Wednesday night as “targeted” and “linked”. A 32-year-old man was found dead in Bluntisham, and a 57-year-old man was found dead six miles away at a house in Earith, near Ely.

Three people were later arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder.

Here’s what is known so far:

Police found the body of a 32-year-old man with a bullet wound in Meridian Close, Bluntisham (PA)

What have police said?

Cambridgeshire Police said they were called just after 9pm to reports of gunshots in a house in Meridian Close, Bluntisham, where they found the body of a 32-year-old man with a a gunshot wound. Officers are treating his death as murder.

Around half an hour later, at 9.37pm, police received a call from a person in Sutton, six miles away near Ely, reporting gunshots. There, they found the body of a 57-year-old man in a house in The Row. He also had been shot and his death is also being treated as murder.

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What neighbours in Sutton saw and heard:

Sarah Lown, who lives near the houses now sealed off by murder detectives in Sutton, said she heard three loud bangs.

“I didn’t know it was gunshots at the time,” the 38-year-old designer said. “It was about 9.15pm; I thought it was something blowing over as I heard a bang.

“I didn’t think anything crazy had happened. I heard two more – it was bang, space, bang. Whether or not they were each gunshots I don’t know; then police were outside the house.”

Police at the scene in The Row in Sutton, near Ely, where police found the body of a 57-year-old man (PA)
Map showing Bluntisham and The Row, Sutton (Google Maps)

Gordon Murray, who also lives near two semi-detached houses that have been cordoned off in Sutton, said he saw police cars racing down the road and heard armed police shouting.

The 62-year-old support engineer said officers later asked him whether he had CCTV footage, and when he checked, he saw a white car that made two passes, and on the second pass the car stopped and someone opened the boot.

“I saw the police cars racing down here,” he said. “There was a lot of shouting. I thought it was an altercation or something. Then I saw the armed police. They were shouting something to the homeowners. That was it. I stood in the window, watching.”

Mr Murray said there were two cars with “three or four” officers in each, “all armed and with their headgear”.

Forensics officers at the scene in The Row in Sutton (PA)
Forensics at the scene in The Row in Sutton in a quiet part of Cambridgeshire (PA)

His son heard some bangs, he said “but I don’t know if that was the car doors slamming”.

A white hatchback “came around twice” and stopped outside. When someone opened the boot he “couldn’t see him get anything out, it was very fuzzy”.

Two bunches of flowers were left on the drive.

What neighbours in Bluntisham saw and heard:

A woman who lives close to a new build cul-de-sac estate sealed off by murder detectives in Bluntisham said she heard a helicopter circling late on Wednesday evening for at least half an hour.

The woman, speaking anonymously, added: “Considering how quiet the village is, it’s really surprising to hear this has happened.”

Retail worker Sharon Coulson, 58, who lives nearby, described Bluntisham as a “nice place to live, nice country walks, friendly, everybody says hello”.

The house in Meridian Close, Bluntisham where the 32-year-old was found (PA)
Police at the scene in Meridian Close, Bluntisham, which was cordoned off (PA)

Both the properties in Meridian Close and The Row were cordoned off by tape and police officers and forensics officers were working at both scenes.

Who the victims were:

The two victims have not been identified yet, but police confirmed on Thursday they were father and son.

A neighbour in Sutton, Mr Murray, said he did not know whether the homes sealed off by police were rental properties but he believed “a guy on his own” stayed there.

Ms Lown said a man who lived at one of the properties sealed off by police “always had really fancy cars out the front, souped up, cool-looking cars”.

A 52-year-old man who did not want to give his name and lives just off The Row in Sutton said the victim kept himself to himself. “Never really came across him, as far as I know. Just lived a quiet life, very unassuming. Never really saw him about,” he said.

People under arrest

A 27-year-old man and a 33-year-old woman were arrested in the early hours of Thursday, while a 66-year-old man was arrested in the Worcester area. All three were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder.

Detective Chief Superintendent Jon Hutchinson, of Cambridgeshire Police, said officers made a “very quick two arrests” in a hotel just outside Cambridge.

Detective chief superintendent Jon Hutchinson (PA)

Then, in a joint operation with West Mercia Police, armed officers arrested a 66-year-old man on the motorway.

A car that was believed to have been used by the offender, a white Peugeot 208, and a shotgun have been recovered.

Mr Hutchinson said the man had been in police custody in Worcester and was being transported to Cambridgeshire for an interview.

Detective Inspector Mark Butler, of the major crime unit, said: “These events will be shocking to local people and there will be understandable concerns within local communities; however, we are treating the attacks as targeted and there is no wider risk to the general public.”

He said officers had been in touch with family and friends of the victims and they were helping the investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101, quoting Operation Scan.

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