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Crossbow suspect released after arrest on suspicion of attempted murder in Shoreditch

Police search Culham House in Rochelle Street, Shoreditch, London (Samuel Montgomery/PA Wire)
Police search Culham House in Rochelle Street, Shoreditch, London (Samuel Montgomery/PA Wire)

A man arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after two people were injured by crossbow bolts in east London has been released under investigation.

The 47-year-old was carrying a knuckle duster and “a bottle containing a substance” when he was detained at 11pm on Sunday in Shoreditch, the Metropolitan Police said.

Officers searched his home and found a crossbow, knives and other weapons which have been sent for forensic examination.

A manhunt was launched after a 44-year-old woman was hit in the head with a crossbow bolt as she crossed the road by Clifton House in east London at around 7.44pm on Monday March 4.

A 20-year-old man was then injured in the neck by a crossbow bolt near Arnold Circus, about 60 metres from the scene of the first attack, on Thursday March 14 at around 7.27pm.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said on Tuesday: “A 47-year-old man arrested in connection with investigation has been released under investigation.”

Detective Chief Superintendent James Conway, who is responsible for policing in Hackney and Tower Hamlets, said: “I’m acutely aware of the level of concern in the community following these awful attacks.

“Since the first incident the police response has been immediate and dynamic, with my detectives leading a significant investigation involving CCTV trawls, intelligence and forensic work, whilst my neighbourhood teams have been engaged in public appeals and reassurance patrols.

“We have been strongly supported by our partners, particularly the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

“This remains a complex and ongoing policing operation, and the community will continue to see an enhanced police presence in the area.

“I’d like to thank local people for their valuable support and would urge anyone still yet to talk to police to do so as soon as possible.

“You can speak with officers at any time if you believe you have information that is relevant.”

The Government is considering tightening the laws on crossbows so that they are put under regulations similar to those around firearms.

Currently anyone over 18 can legally buy a crossbow, but if they are found to be carrying it in public without a reasonable excuse they could get up to four years in prison.

In a separate incident in January, Bryce Hodgson, 30, was shot dead by police after he broke into a house in south-east London armed with weapons including a crossbow and a sword.

Anyone with information can contact police on 101 quoting Operation Goldwater, or to remain anonymous contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online.