Two men shot dead in Cambridgeshire villages were father and son, say police probing custody battle

  • A private ambulance was seen leaving the scene in Bluntisham, Cambridgeshire

Two men who were shot dead in separate attacks in rural villages were father and son, say police who are probing whether their deaths may be linked to a custody battle.

Gunshots were heard in Meridian Close, Bluntisham in Cambridgeshire just after 9pm on Wednesday, with police arriving to find the body of a 32-year-old man with a gunshot wound.

Less than 40 minutes later and around six miles away, police were called to Sutton, near Ely, to more reports of gunshots, and found a 57-year-old man dead at the property in The Row with gunshot wounds.

Three people were arrested in the early hours of Thursday on suspicion of conspiracy to murder.

Ch Supt Jon Hutchinson said the two men were father and son, and that the “primary line of investigation” was that the incident related to a “familial issue”.

“It’s been widely reported in the media that this may relate to a custody battle,” he said. “I can confirm that is an active line of inquiry for us.”

The cordon at Meridian Close in Bluntisham. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Cambridgeshire Police said both men's deaths were being treated as "targeted" murders and neither of them have been formally identified.

A 27-year-old man and a 33-year-old woman were arrested in Cambridge, while a 66-year-old man was arrested by armed officers in the Worcester area.

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

The two shootings took place about half an hour and just six miles apart. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The properties in Meridian Close and The Row have been cordoned off and police officers remain at the scenes.

On Thursday morning, a private ambulance was seen leaving the estate in Bluntisham, where a major police cordon had been established.

  • Ch Supt Jon Hutchinson confirmed the victims were father and son

Det Ch Supt Jon Hutchinson, of Cambridgeshire Police, said that officers made a “very quick two arrests in a hotel just outside Cambridge”.

“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,” he said.

He said the vehicle was searched and a firearm recovered.

The man is in police custody in Worcester and is being transported to Cambridgeshire for interview.

He said police were examining "whether that firearm was legally owned”.

Scene of crime police officers remain at the houses. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Shailesh Vara, the MP for North West Cambridgeshire, which covers Bluntisham, urged people to support police.

He added: “This is tragic news from what are normally quiet areas of Cambridgeshire, and it has really shocked the local community. My thoughts and sympathies are with those affected by last night’s events."

Bluntisham Parish Council said in a statement it was "deeply shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic incident which unfolded in our village last night".

"Our thoughts and condolences are with the loved ones of the victims of this horrific crime which has rocked our community," it said in a statement.

"We'd also like to extend our sympathies to our neighbours in nearby Sutton, who will be feeling the same shock and sorrow following such an awful event affecting our two villages."

Anyone with information should report online to Cambridgeshire Police and quote Operation Scan.

Those without internet access should call 101.

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