Two men shot dead just miles apart in Cambridgeshire last night are confirmed to have been father and son in 'targeted attacks'. Police believe the two shootings are linked and three people have been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder.
Officers were called out to a property in Meridian Close, Bluntisham just after 9pm yesterday evening after reports of gunshots. Inside they discovered the body of a 32-year-old man suffering a gunshot wound and are treating his death as a murder, the Mirror reports.
At 9:37pm, police received a phone call from another person in Sutton, near Ely who also reported hearing gunshots. They attended a property in The Row and discovered a 57-year-old man's body whose death is also being treated as a murder.
Police said they are investigating whether the attacks are linked to a 'familial issue' and confirmed that reports of a custody battle are 'an active line of enquiry'. They have reassured that they believe there is no risk to the public following the shootings.
Detective chief superintendent Jon Hutchinson, of Cambridgeshire Police, said the two victims were 'father and son'. He said: "Working with local residents and family members we quite quickly established that the two victims were related and they were father and son.
He said that the 'primary line of investigation' was that the incident was related to a 'familial issue'. He added: "It's been widely reported in the media that this may relate to a custody battle.
"I can confirm that is an active line of inquiry for us." DCI Hutchinson also revealed that officers made a 'very quick two arrests in a hotel just outside Cambridge'.
In a statement, he said: "In the early hours of this morning we did a joint operation alongside West Mercia Police, at which stage a 66-year-old man was arrested on the motorway by armed officers. Following his arrest, his vehicle was searched and I can confirm we have recovered a firearm."
He said the suspect was in police custody in Worcester and is being transported to Cambridgeshire for questioning. The double tragedy had shocked the local community who described the victim as 'really lovely people'.
Police have also recovered a white Peugeot 208 and shotgun. A 27-year-old man and a 33-year-old woman were arrested in the early hours of Thursday in Cambridge while a 66-year-old man was arrested in the Worcester area.
Meanwhile, DCI Hutchinson said the 'initial arrests have been made for conspiracy to murder - that is likely to change as information develops in the hours ahead'. The two suspects arrested at a hotel outside Cambridge are 'from the local area' but police are trying to identify where they've been staying in recent days.
Forensic work is underway to establish whether or not the same weapon was used at both crime scenes and an 'active line of inquiry' is 'understanding whether that firearm was legally owned' DCI Hutchinson said.
Neighbours near two semi-detached houses sealed off by murder detectives in Sutton recalled hearing gunshots and seeing armed police arrive a short while later. Gordon Murray, who watched the shocking events unfold from his window on Wednesday evening saw police vehicles 'racing down' and armed police shouting.
The 62-year-old support engineer said officers later asked him if he had any CCTV footage from that night and when he looked back he noticed a white car that made two passes, and on the second pass the car stopped and someone opened the boot. He added: "My son said he heard some bangs but I don't know if that was the car doors slamming.
"There was a white hatchback which came around and stopped outside, then about half an hour later he came back and lifted up the boot." Mr Murray added that the footage was 'a bit fuzzy' because it was 'dark'.
Another resident said she heard three loud bangs on Wednesday evening. The 38-year-old designer said: "I didn't know it was gunshots at the time.
"It was about 9.15pm; I thought it was something blowing over as I heard a bang. There are pallets in our garden that I thought could have fallen over.
"I didn't think anything crazy had happened. I heard two more - it was bang, space, bang."
Forensic officers in white suits worked at the scene on Thursday morning, with two bunches of flowers left on the drive along with uniformed officers and a marked car Police tape has been put in place to seal off the homes.
Officers said they are not in a position to currently name either victim because formal identification has not been carried out. Detective Inspector Mark Butler, from 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 have been in touch with family and friends of the victims and they are helping the investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101, quoting Operation Scan.
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