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First picture of mother and daughter killed after gunman opened fire in East Sussex
Heather and Michelle Whitbread were killed in the shooting

This is the first picture of the mother and daughter who were shot dead in East Sussex.

Heather Whitbread, 53, and her 32-year-old daughter Michelle have been described by relatives as ‘beautiful people that filled our family with laughter’.

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They were fatally injured by a gunman who opened fire inside a house in St Leonards on Friday evening, Sussex Police said.

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

Two other women, one of whom was Heather’s other daughter Raven, 24, were safely escorted from the house by firearms officers who responded to the shooting.

DOUBLE SHOOTING ST LEONARDS - (day two) CORONER AT SCENE-BODIES BEING REMOVED
Police are still investigating at the scene of the incident (Picture: Eddie Mitchell)

Raven, who is pregnant, and the other woman were unhurt but suffering from the shock after the incident, and were taken to hospital.

Neighbour Chris Woodhead told the Sunday Times: ‘The tragedy is that two generations of the same family have just been killed.

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‘Raven will probably want to tell her story at some point, but I don’t think the whole world needs to know the ins and outs yet.

‘He [the suspect] will have his day in court. Right now, people should be mourning the family.’

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

DOUBLE SHOOTING ST LEONARDS POLICE TEAMS GO INTO RESCUE TWO LADIES
Firearms officers safely escorted two other women from the premises (Picture: Eddie Mitchell)

‘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.’

More: UK

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

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

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