Crossbow murder victim 'dedicated himself to those worse off than himself'

A housing officer who was murdered in a crossbow attack "dedicated many hours to helping those worse off than himself", according to the council where he worked.

Shane Gilmer, 30, was killed and his pregnant girlfriend injured in the attack at their home in the village of Southburn, near Driffield, East Yorkshire, on Friday night.

Following the incident, Humberside Police launched a manhunt for suspect Anthony Lawrence.

The 56-year-old's body was found in a vehicle in a rural location in North Yorkshire on Sunday.

Shane Gilmer death
Anthony Lawrence was found dead in a car as police searched for him in connection with the murder of Shane Gilmer (Humberside Police/PA)

In a statement released on Thursday, East Riding of Yorkshire Council chief executive Caroline Lacey said: "We are all immensely saddened by Shane Gilmer's tragic death in a shocking attack which also left his partner and our colleague Laura Sugden in hospital.

"Shane was an extremely popular and well-respected member of staff."

Ms Lacey said Mr Gilmer had joined the council as a trainee in 2005 and was soon promoted to work as an assistant housing officer.

At the time of his death he was working as a housing management officer and senior housing policy and development officer.

Ms Lacey said: "Working in housing meant Shane was able to assist people who were homeless or in need of accommodation to move into their own homes and he dedicated many hours to helping those worse off than himself.

"Many of the people he helped have since expressed their appreciation of what he did for them.

"He worked with many people across a wide range of services in his time at the council and his death has shocked the many colleagues who held him in the highest regard."

Ms Lacey said senior managers have visited a number of council sites where the couple worked to offer support to staff as staff try to come to terms with what has happened.

She said books of condolence have been opened at a number of council sites for staff to pay tribute to Mr Gilmer and flags at council buildings are being flown at half-mast as a mark of respect.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Shane and Laura's families at this difficult time," she added.

Ms Sugden's injuries were not thought to be life-threatening and police said earlier this week that she and her unborn baby were in a stable condition.

The small village of Southburn was on lockdown during the manhunt, which saw officers scour local woodland.

A crossbow was found at the scene of the attack and is being forensically examined.

Police have not commented on what sparked the attack.

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