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Family pay tribute to St Leonards shooting victims Michelle and Heather Whitbread

Michelle and Heather Whitbread were shot dead at home on Friday night. Credit: PA

The family of a mother and daughter who died in a shooting in St Leonards have paid tribute to them as "beautiful people".

Michelle, 32, and Heather Whitbread, 53, were shot in their home in Bexhill Road on Friday evening.

"Michelle and Heather were both beautiful people who filled our family with laughter," the family statement said.

"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 responded to a report of Friday's shooting at 7.43pm.

Firearms officers were able to lead two other women, one pregnant, from the house to safety and they were taken to hospital.

Both were uninjured but suffering from shock.

A 35-year-old man, who was known to the victims, was arrested on suspicion of murder and taken into custody. A firearm has been recovered.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 101, quoting Operation Winlot.