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St Leonards shooting: Victims named as mother and daughter

The scene of the deaths Image copyright Mitchell/Jessup
Image caption Two women died and two others were treated in hospital for shock

Two people shot dead at a house in East Sussex have been named as a mother and daughter.

Heather Whitbread, 53, and Michelle, 32, were fatally wounded at their home in Bexhill Road, St Leonards, on Friday.

Sussex Police said officers responded to a report of a shooting at 19:43 GMT. The women died at the scene.

In a statement, family members said the pair were “beautiful, generous and kind people” who would be “sorely missed”.

A 35-year-old man, known to the victims, has been arrested on suspicion of murder and remains in police custody.

Image copyright Mitchell/Jessup
Image caption Bexhill Road was closed while police carried out their investigations but has since reopened

In a statement, the family said: “Heather and Michelle were both beautiful people that filled our family with laughter.

“They were both special, generous and kind people who loved life, but most of all their family.

“They will both be sorely missed, leaving a gap that can never be filled.”

Image copyright PA
Image caption A large police presence remains at the scene of the shootings

Two other women at the property, one of whom is pregnant, were taken to hospital suffering from shock.

The shooting promoted a huge police response, with surrounding streets cordoned off and some families asked to leave their homes as officers scoured the area.

Insp Mark Rosser tweeted about “one of the worst shifts in 25 years” and said the Met Police was called in to help.

Sussex Police has said it is not looking for anyone else in connection with the shooting but has appealed for any witnesses to contact the force.

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