The community of St Leonards has been shocked to its core by the deaths of two women last night.
Tragic. Terrifying. A needless waste of human life.
Amid speculation on social media about what had happened it was very difficult to figure out what was going on at first.
Our team of professionally trained journalists had a hard task carefully establishing facts and bringing only those facts to you, our readers. That is the enduring value of trusted newspaper brands like ours.
But what can be forgotten in the middle of a crisis such as this is the superhuman efforts of our emergency services.
And to them, on behalf of everyone living here, we simply say: Thank you.
Asked to work in increasingly tough conditions with fewer and fewer numbers and resources, our police officers, ambulance staff and firefighters continue to fight for our community.
Last night’s shooting was just another example of them putting their lives on the line for the people they serve.
Even as officers ushered members of the public to safety, their colleagues were running towards the potential and unknown danger.
We are truly impressed by their professionalism and resolve.
There will clearly be key lessons to be learned in the weeks and months.
But for today, we give thanks to everyone who helped keep our community safe last night.
And to the families of the two women who lost their lives, the thoughts of the Hastings Observer team are with you at this difficult time.
-- The Hastings Observer team
To read more about the tragic incident, click here.