Police have launched a murder investigation after an 86-year-old woman was killed and her husband was left with life-threatening injuries.
The woman, named locally as Freda Walker, died at her home in Langwith Junction in Derbyshire.
The 88-year-old man, thought to be local politician Ken Walker, was taken to hospital for treatment.
Paramedics called police to the house in Station Road at 09: 30 GMT on Saturday.
‘I can’t get over it’
Mr Walker was previously chairman of Bolsover District Council and was last month made an Honorary Alderman for his services.
Neighbours have described the victims as a “sweet old couple” who would say hello to people walking past.
Lynne Newham said Mrs Walker had been her best friend for about 50 years.
“She was here Friday teatime,” she said, through tears.
“We had a cup of tea together and a chat and she went home about 17: 00 GMT.
“I can’t get over it, I can’t shut my eyes. I can’t think how she died. She was a loyal friend.”
At the scene – Navtej Johal, BBC News
This is an incident that has rocked the community of this tiny Derbyshire village.
One neighbour, who says he knew the couple very well, was too upset to talk to us on camera.
Flowers have started being left at the scene and the word “lovely” has been used several times in messages to describe Freda Walker.
A friend of the couple told me her husband, Ken, had celebrated his 88th birthday just a few days ago.
Police said the family of the couple had been made aware of what had happened and were being supported.
Ch Supt Hayley Barnett has asked anyone with information about what happened to contact police “as a matter of urgency”.
“While the investigation is in its early stages, I can confirm this is not being treated as a domestic incident,” she said.
“There was also a serious level of violence used in the incident and we are doing all we can to understand the circumstances and find those responsible.”
She particularly urged drivers with dashcam footage or homeowners with CCTV to come forward.
“This is an understandably shocking incident for the community in Langwith Junction and our thoughts are with everyone affected, in particular those family and friends of the man and woman,” she said.
Police are still at the scene, and Ch Supt Barnett said residents in and around Station Road will see “an increased police presence in the coming days”.
Steve Fritchley, the leader of Bolsover District Council, said he had known Mr and Mrs Walker for 38 years.
“I just became more and more angry and shocked that this could happen to a couple well into their 80s,” he said.
“I’m really, really sad that somebody could get to that age and it’s ended like this.”
He said Mr Walker had been involved in politics for all of his life, being chairman of Bolsover District Council 10 times.
Mrs Walker had supported him with his public duties and was a “very loyal”, he said.
“She was involved in a lot of charity work in the community,” said Mr Fritchley.
He said Mr Walker had been suffering from cancer for a while, but both he and Mrs Walker attended the Honorary Alderman ceremony.
“He’s a fighter is Ken,” said Mr Fritchley.
“Let’s hope that he recovers from this and is able to help police catch whoever’s done this.”
‘I just don’t get it’
One neighbour, Brian Doyle, described what had happened as “disgusting”.
“When I came home yesterday somebody said Mrs Walker had died,” he said.
“I’ve known them for quite some years because I walk past here practically every day and Mrs Walker always speaks.
“She’s always really nice, always spoke politely and ready to speak to you.”
Jonathan Hilliar, who also lives locally, said they were both “lovely” people.
“Every time I went past they would say hello,” he said.
“They were such a sweet old couple, I just don’t get it, I really don’t.”
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