A mother and daughter are fighting for their lives after a stranger launched an unprovoked hammer attack in the street.
Joe Xuereb, 27, is being hunted by police on suspicion of carrying out the vicious beating in Adderley Gardens, Greenwich, south-east London, on Sunday.
Officers were called at 12.10pm on Sunday to find the women, aged 64 and 30, suffering from devastating injuries “consistent with a violent assault”, Scotland Yard said.
They were taken to south London hospitals where they are in a critical condition.
A hammer was recovered from the scene which was “believed to have been used in the assault”, a police spokesman said.
Neighbours described hearing a scream and later seeing the pavement covered in blood.
The suspect, from Greenwich, is thought to have mental health issues and should not be approached by members of the public, police said.
He was described as a white male with short, light-coloured hair, wearing beige trousers, a white top and black trainers.
He was last seen travelling on a black and orange bicycle, according to the force.
Anyone who spots Xuereb is asked to call 999 immediately.
Detective Superintendent Jane Corrigan said: “I would like to reassure the community that we are doing everything we can to trace Xuereb and question him in relation to the horrific attack which has left two women fighting for their lives.
“I would urge anyone who has information on his whereabouts to contact the police on 999, and would like to remind the public not to approach him if seen.”