Detectives are investigating the murder of two women, aged 32 and 76, outside a house in Crawley Down on Sunday morning (22 December).
A 37-year-old man, who was found seriously injured inside the house in Hazel Way, is under arrest on suspicion of murder. He is in a very unstable condition at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton.
Detective Chief Inspector Alex Geldart, of Surrey and Sussex major crime team, is leading the investigation.
She said: “This is a tragic incident which has led to the death of two local women, one of whom was known to the suspect.
“Members of the public, police and paramedics did all they could to help the victims but sadly the two women died at the scene.
“I extend my heartfelt sympathies to their families, who are being supported by specialist trained officers. I ask that people respect their privacy at this distressing time.
“Extensive enquiries are taking place along with a forensic examination, and any speculation by the media as to what has happened is unhelpful. This was not a knife attack. A cordon will remain in the area while we gather evidence and we appreciate the support and understanding of local residents.”
Chief Superintendent Jerry Westerman, West Sussex divisional commander, said: “This is an isolated yet shocking incident that has shaken many in the community.
“We are thankful to them for supporting officers as they go about their enquiries.
“While we are investigating, officers will be available in the area over the next few days to reassure the community and if anyone wants to talk to them about their concerns or if they have any information they should talk with them.”
If anyone has information that may help the investigation they can report it online or call 101, quoting Operation Deanland. They can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”