A double murder investigation has been launched after a woman and child were found shot dead this morning.
Essex Police say a man is under guard in hospital following the shootings at an address in Bartram Avenue, Braintree.
Police officers and dog handling teams arrived on the scene and after entering the property found the bodies of a woman and child.
It is understood that the man, who is believed to be the woman’s partner, is being treated for gunshot wounds.
He was arrested and taken to Broomfield Hospital, in Chelmsford, Essex, according to neighbours.
Police have told MailOnline they are not yet in a position to name the dead woman and child or the injured man.
But shocked people from the street have named the dead woman as ‘Chrissy’.
A police spokeswoman added the incident was being treated as a double murder, but they were not searching for anyone else in connection with the deaths.
Chris Lane, spokesman for Essex Police, described the incident as ‘tragic and horrible’.
He said: ‘In the early hours of this morning we received a call relating to a shooting incident at a property in Braintree, Essex.
‘Inside the property we found the bodies of a woman and child.
‘There has been a significant police response to this very serious incident. It’s clearly a tragic and horrible event.
‘A man is currently in hospital under police guard. His injuries are not immediately life-threatening.
‘We are not searching for anyone with regards to this incident.’
A second child is claimed to have escaped the house where the woman and child were murdered today.
The youngster is thought to have fled by climbing out of a window at about 3am.
Police marksmen stormed the house at about 5.45am and later brought out an injured man – but Essex Police would not confirm if officers had fired any shots.
A neighbour said: ‘I was woken up about 5am by the sound of dogs barking. there were loads of armed police outside. They had handguns and big rifles pointing at the front and back of the house.
‘I heard the police shout that they might have to shoot. At about 5.45am the police went into the house, later I saw someone come out on a hospital bed.’
Neighbours say the dead mother had a number of children, including a girl aged about 10 and a toddler aged about two.
One friend, a 36-year-old mum of two, said: ‘I woke up and it was like a horror film, police with guns. It’s very sad news, it’s unbelievable.’
Another neighbour said; ‘I thought someone was having an argument outside, I looked out and there were about seven police cars and fire engine. It’s shocking to find out two people are dead.
‘I knew the woman who got shot. I would see her in the street and we would chat. She had children.’
He added: ‘This road does have a bad reputation but it’s getting better and we haven’t had anything like this before.’
Emergency crews were scrambled to the busy road, which is lined with local authority houses, at about 3am.
The Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate are at the scene and investigating circumstances leading up to the killings.
Just over 15 minutes later several ambulances were called and sent to the home in Bartram Avenue.
A spokeswoman for the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAS) said:’EEAS crews were called at 3.16am to an address in Braintree to reports of serious injuries following a shooting incident.
‘Sadly a woman and a child were found deceased on scene. A man was taken to hospital with injuries.’