Neighbours in shock at nine-hour gun siege

Armed police spent all night at a siege on Norbreck Road in Norbreck following reports that an armed man had threatened a neighbour with a shotgun.'Police talk to residents of the flats where the siege took place.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'19-9-2014
Armed police spent all night at a siege on Norbreck Road in Norbreck following reports that an armed man had threatened a neighbour with a shotgun.'Police talk to residents of the flats where the siege took place. PIC BY ROB LOCK'19-9-2014
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Police swooped on a Blackpool street after a man fired a gun into a neighbour’s front door, sparking a nine hour siege.

Shocked neighbours in Norbreck Road today told of hearing a loud bang in the middle of the night and how they woke to find dozens of police after armed officers swooped on a block of flats and sealed off the area.

It is believed the gunshot, fired from the outside of the door, followed a dispute between two neighbours in the building.

Police were called to the flats at around 11.30pm on Thursday night following reports a man was holed up in sidewith a gun.

A stand-off with the man continued for around nine hours, before, at around 8.30am, the 40-year-old man voluntarily gave himself up and was arrested on suspicion of assault and possession of a firearm.

He was re-arrested yesterday on suspicion of attempted murder and was being questioned by detectives last night.

Resident David Shelton, 69, from a neighbouring block, said: “There was a big bang in the night, I thought it was a car accident on the road, I never thought it could be a gun.

“I didn’t hear shouting or screaming, just that big bang. Then police started arriving.

“I’ve never seen anything like it, there were police all around the property. It was scary.”

Police, including armed officers and police dog handlers, surrounding the front and back of the property and put a police cordon in place before evacuating surrounding flats. Neighbours were moved into the nearby Norbreck Hotel.

Daniel Howarth, 35, said he was advised not to return to his home, just metres from the stand-off, as police continued to negotiate with the man in the early hours of the morning.

He added: “I got home from work at 6.30am and saw all the police, and thought there must have been a murder or someone with a gun.

“I thought it was a lot of police for just one man, but it could have been dangerous.”

Det Insp Gareth Willis, of Blackpool CID, said no one was hurt in the incident.

He said: “If you go shooting a firearm you run the risk of causing serious harm or even death.

“Based on a review of the evidence and the crime scene, a man originally arrested on suspicion of assault and possession of a firearm has now been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.”

He added: “It was all confined to within the building. It was one resident against another resident.”

The building consists of six flats. The building’s landlord Oliver Hirsh said: “I’m shocked and devastated. It’s a new low when firearms are involved.”