Dad murdered by crossbow killer cried for pregnant partner to run to save baby

A dying dad told his pregnant girlfriend to leave him behind after he was fatally shot with a crossbow.

Anthony Lawrence murdered Shane Gilmer with the weapon and also shot his partner Laura Sugden in the head at their home in Southburn, East Yorkshire.

He launched the horrific attack on his former neighbours because he blamed them for his eviction after they complained about cannabis fumes and loud music.

Laura, 30, and her unborn daughter miraculously survived after she fought back against Lawrence.

However, she was not able to save her 30-year-old boyfriend, who bravely ordered her to leave their semi-detached house after he was shot with the crossbow.

After Lawrence fled the home, Shane told her to raise the alarm, adding: “If you don’t go and keep you and the baby safe I’ll never forgive you.”

Laura added: “He was crying. He was gasping for breath. He looked at me, really looked at me, like the look someone gives you when they are going away for a long time and then told me, ‘Be strong, I love you’.”

Those were the last words Shane ever said to Laura.

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Shaking with fear and barely able to see for the blood gushing from her head wound, she ran downstairs and grappled with three locks on her back door before running to a neighbour.

Her injuries were so bad they thought she had been in a car crash.

Meanwhile, Shane managed to make it downstairs and call 999.

An inquest in Hull last week into his death heard him tell the operator: “I love my children… Oh my God I really, really wanted this baby, I really wanted it. I feel like I’m fading. I’ve lost so much blood.”

Ambulance staff were unable to enter the house in the hamlet of Southburn near Driffield, East Yorks, until firearms officers made sure the scene was clear.

Laura believes without that delay Shane could have survived.

But the inquest ruled the delays in getting Shane to hospital were inevitable because of the remote location and a trauma specialist said the dad suffered devastating injuries.

Lawrence, 55, fled and was found dead from an overdose of painkillers in a camper van two days later on the A170 near East Layton, North Yorks.