Police were last night hunting a suspect accused of shooting dead a father-of-three with a crossbow and leaving his pregnant girlfriend ‘pouring with blood’ following an attack in Yorkshire.
Officers believe the killer broke into the property in Southburn, Yorkshire through a cellar and shot 30-year-old father-of-three Shane Gilmer with a crossbow.
Mr Gilmer’s pregnant girlfriend was also injured in the attack and is recovering in hospital with non life-threatening injuries.
Mr Gilmer was rushed to the Hull Royal Infirmary where he died this morning.
Police believe Mr Gilmer and his girlfriend went to the house in the village of Southburn near Driffield, East Yorkshire, after a date on Friday, friends said.
But neighbours described her as ‘pouring with blood’ as she desperately sought help from nearby residents at around 9.20pm on Friday.
The incident is said to have revolved around an red-bricked property which is just a few metres away from a large farm house called Southburn House.
Police are searching for this man, Anthony Lawrence, after a man and woman in connection with the fatal attack
Neighbour Chris King, 25, a factory worker, said: ‘The woman who was attacked ran inside the big farmhouse at around 9.20pm last night and she was pouring with blood.
‘He’d used a crossbow and other weapons to attack the couple after breaking into the property through their downstairs cellar.
‘The lady had blood pouring down her face. It was terrifying.
‘The woman was panicking and was scared.
‘I’m not sure of the circumstances which led to him being dead.
‘I believe he went up into the house through the cellar.
‘We didn’t hear any noise as crossbows don’t make a lot of sound so I didn’t hear anything – but the police helicopter has been going around all day.
‘We’re still on lockdown here in the village tonight and there are a lot of police, and armed police on foot.’
Mr King likened the heavy police presence at the locked-down village of Southburn to ‘just like Midsomer Murders’.
Neighbours claim a woman ‘pouring with blood’ ran for help after being attacked by an alleged ‘crossbow killer’ who broke into a property through a cellar and killed her boyfriend
He added: ‘I never known a quieter village for something like this to happen in… It’s just like Midsomer Murders.
‘You have a lot of fields and hiding places in and around the village so the police are going to have a tough time finding him.
‘I can see that the police have now gone into the woods and they are searching there.’
East Riding of Yorkshire Councillor for the Southburn area, Felicity Temple, said: ‘We don’t know anything, but the police helicopter has been flying overhead.
‘I think it is possible that it is a domestic fight, so there is no danger to anyone else.
‘It is a terrible shame and I am very sorry it has happened and I just hope they can get the chap soon and the residents can go back to normal.
‘Obviously, my deep heart-felt sympathies go out to the family of those involved.’
This morning police taped off a mile-long area of the village, which has about 20 houses in it.
Friends said father-of-three Shane Gilmer had taken his pregnant partner to a house in the village of Southburn near Driffield, East Yorkshire
The cordon is on an unnamed road running east of Thornton Lane at one end, and connected to Southburn Road at the other end.
A Humberside Police spokesperson added: ‘Our teams – including dog units and the police helicopter – are continuing to work to urgently trace the suspect and establish the circumstances of last night’s events.’
Police confirmed Lawrence has ditched his blue Vauxuall Meriva which has since been recovered.
Speaking outside a police station in Cottingham, near Hull, East Yorks., today, Chief Inspector Andy Parsons said: ‘Humberside Police received a call at 9.20pm last night, informing us about a disturbance to the Southburn part of Driffield.
A mile-long area of the small village in Driffield has been cordoned off by police
‘Resources were dispatched along with an ambulance which also travelled to the scene and sadly there had been quite a nasty incident and two people were taken to hospital and one of them later died.
‘We’ve taken the opportunity to name the individual and his name is Anthony Lawrence, he’s 55-years-old and was a resident of the Southburn area.’
Chief Insp Parsons said he does not believe Lawrence poses a risk to members of the public as the investigations progresses.
He said: ‘At this time we do not believe he is dangerous to the wider public.
‘We were looking for a vehicle earlier for him, and we found a vehicle believed to be in connection with that.
‘He was not with that vehicle and we were grateful to the calls from members of the public who let us know about that.
‘I cannot tell you where the vehicle was found, but it was around and near to the vicinity of the village.
‘At this moment we are treating this as a murder investigation.’
Anyone who sees Mr Lawrence are being told to call police directly on 999 and not to approach.