Man dies and pregnant girlfriend escapes "pouring with blood" after 'crossbow killer' breaks into house via cellar

A manhunt had been launched for an alleged ‘crossbow killer’ after a man died and his pregnant girlfriend suffered serious injuries during a shocking attack in rural Yorkshire village this morning.

Officers are searching for Anthony Lawrence, 56, who they say they need to speak to in connection with a suspected murder in Southburn, Driffield.

The man who died has been named locally as Shane Gilmer, 30, while the injured woman, who police said suffered serious, but not life-threatening injuries – and is believed to be his girlfriend – has not yet been named.

Neighbours claims she ran for help – “pouring with blood” – after being attacked by a man who broke into a property through a cellar and killed her boyfriend.

Mr Gilmer was allegedly shot with a crossbow according to sources and later died at Hull Royal Infirmary.

His family is being supported by specialist officers.

The man who died has been named locally as Shane Gilmer, 30
(Image: Facebook)
Mr Gilmer is said to have been with his girlfriend at the time
(Image: Facebook)

A family friend of Mr Gilmer alleged: “He shot my mate’s brother with a crossbow and killed him and now he’s on the run – it’s awful.”

However, Humberside Police would not confirm that the man had been fatally shot with a crossbow.

A police spokesman said: “The investigation is in its early stages and as you can imagine we cannot confirm information like that at this moment.”

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 want to speak with Anthony Lawrence
(Image: Humberside Police / SWNS.com)

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 in to 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 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.”

He added: “I never known a quieter village for something like this to happen in.

“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.”

Police are investigating
(Image: BPM Media)
A police car at the scene of the suspected murder
(Image: BPM Media)

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Police at the scene this morning have taped off a mile-long area of the village which contains 20 houses inside it.

Lawrence has been described by police as being white, in his late 40s, around five foot 10 inches tall, balding, with close cropped dark hair and large build.

He was believed to be driving a dark blue Vauxuall Meriva, with blacked out rear windows and a poppy on the front grill and has the reg number ‘FE07 SVP’.

Humberside Police Chief inspector Andy Parsons said: “Anthony, it’s vital that we speak to you about this incident as soon as possible.

“I would urge you to go straight to your nearest police station so that we can do this.

“Avoiding speaking to us could only make matters worse for you in the long run.

“At this point it is believed that this was an isolated incident and there is no threat to the wider public.

“However, if you believe you have seen Anthony Lawrence or have any information about his whereabouts, please don’t approach him yourself and call us on 999.”

East Riding of 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.”

A Humberside Police spokesperson added tonight: “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.”

After being approached for comment regarding his death, a member of Shane’s family said: “No comment.”

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