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double murder probe Locals ‘absolutely shocked’ after three people die in suspected murder-suicide in Co Antrim

Police confirmed the incidents were linked, and a double murder probe had been launched.

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The scene at a residential property in the Derrycoole Way, Newtownabbey, after police launched a murder investigation after three bodies were found at separate properties. PA Wire

The scene at a residential property in the Derrycoole Way, Newtownabbey, after police launched a murder investigation after three bodies were found at separate properties. PA Wire

The scene at a residential property in Derrycoole Way, Newtownabbey, after police launched a murder investigation (PA)

The scene at a residential property in Derrycoole Way, Newtownabbey, after police launched a murder investigation (PA)

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The scene at a residential property in the Derrycoole Way, Newtownabbey, after police launched a murder investigation after three bodies were found at separate properties. PA Wire

Three people have died after a suspected murder-suicide in Newtownabbey, Antrim. 

A man is believed to have stabbed his mother and girlfriend at separate properties before killing himself.

Police confirmed the incidents were linked, and a double murder probe had been launched.

Officers were alerted shortly before 11pm on Friday night following a report of a stabbing at Derrycoole Way.

A woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

A man and woman were found at a second property around two miles away.

Police said they were not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths.

The deputy Mayor for Antrim and Newtownabbey, SDLP councillor Noreen McClelland, said her thoughts and prayers were with the friends and family of the two women who she said had been "brutally killed”.

North Belfast MP John Finucane said people had been left “absolutely shocked and stunned” by the news.

Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell said police and ambulance crews had responded to an emergency call shortly before 11pm on Friday night.

“Just after 10.55pm on Friday evening, police received a report of a stabbing at a residential property in the Derrycoole Way area. Officers attended, along with colleagues from NIAS. Sadly, a woman has been pronounced dead.

“As officers carried out further enquiries, they attended a residential property in the Glenville Road area. An unconscious male was located in the property. Despite the provision of first aid, the male was pronounced dead. On searching the property, another deceased female was located.

“While we have launched a murder investigation, we are not looking for anyone else in connection with these incidents which we believe are connected.

"We would urge anyone with any information which may assist our investigation to contact 101 and quote reference number 2441 of 19/03/21. A report can also be made online using the non-emergency reporting form via http://www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/.

“You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at http://crimestoppers-uk.org/"

Police were at the scene of both properties this morning.

Local people spoke of their shock, while political representatives said more needed to be done to address violent attacks against women.

Ms McClelland, the deputy mayor, said: “People in Newtownabbey are in shock today following three deaths in what police believe was a double murder.

“My thoughts and prayers this morning are with the friends and family of the two women who were brutally killed last night.

“This is a close-knit community and I know that they will offer every support to those dealing with the pain of losing a loved one in such horrendous circumstances.

“Once again it appears that two women have lost their lives in a violent attack. How many more women have to die before our Executive takes action to address gender based violence?”

Mr Finucane, the North Belfast MP, has said the community was in shock.

He said: “My first thoughts are with the family and friends of the women who were brutally killed last night.

“It’s important to bear in mind that at the heart of this tragedy are grieving families.

“The local community are absolutely shocked and stunned by these killings.

“These brutal killings highlight once again the need to oppose all violence against women and the need for a Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy in the north.”

Ulster Unionist leader Steve Aiken spoke of his shock. He said: “This is terrible news - the loss of three lives is an awful tragedy for the community.”

Policing Board member John Blair said it was “the most sad and shocking set of circumstances” adding: “My thoughts are with family and friends of victims in what they are going through right now.”

He said there was “a great sense of shock throughout the Newtownabbey community.”

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