Mother and daughter shot dead in East Sussex ‘filled family with laughter’

Heartfelt tributes have been paid to a woman and her daughter who were shot dead inside a house in East Sussex.

Heather and Michelle Whitbread were fatally wounded by a gunman in St Leonards on Friday evening, Sussex Police said.

In a statement, the family of Heather, 53, and 32-year-old Michelle 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. We now just wish to be left to grieve in private as a family.’

Officers were called to the scene in Bexhill Road at about 7.43pm on Friday.

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Police said two other women, one of whom is pregnant, were safely escorted from the house by firearms officers who responded to the shooting.

Both women were uninjured but suffering from shock, and were taken to hospital.

A 35-year-old man, who police said was known to the victims, has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

He was taken into custody where he remains, while police said a firearm was found at the scene.

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