Friday 24 November 2017

Gunman fights for life after shooting

A man holds a gun to his head during a stand off with armed police in Leagrave Park in the centre of Luton. Photo: PA
A man holds a gun to his head during a stand off with armed police in Leagrave Park in the centre of Luton. Photo: PA
Armed Police rush towards a man after he shot himself during a stand off with armed Police in Leagrave Park in the centre of Luton. Photo: PA

A gunman was fighting for his life today after he apparently shot himself during a 16-hour stand-off with police.

Paramedics were trying to save the man after at least one shot was fired on Leagrave Common, in Luton, Bedfordshire.

Eyewitnesses said the man was holding a sawn-off shotgun to his chin before the blast rang out shortly before midday.

Bedfordshire Police said one marksman may have also discharged a shot during the confrontation.

Paramedics and police were holding up a screen around the injured man this afternoon as an air ambulance remained on stand-by.

Armed police were called to the area after a member of the public dialled 999 to report a man in Wauluds Bank Drive with a gun last night.

They found a man walking across Leagrave Common, which includes several football pitches, at about 8.30pm.

The armed officers were joined by dog handlers and specialist negotiators as a stand-off took place and continued through the night.

The gunman, who was wearing dirty jeans, a hooded top, cap and scarf, was seen walking around with a gun held to his chin.

Eyewitnesses said he also spent some time sitting down cross legged with the butt of the gun in his lap and the muzzle against his head.

It appeared police brought him a McDonald's takeaway at some stage during the negotiations.

A large police cordon remains in place around the park between Sundon Park Road and Henge Way.

The eyewitness said: "There is a small group of emergency service people surrounding him on the grass. He is lying flat on his back.

"They have got an oxygen mask on him and a drip. An air ambulance has landed on the playing field nearby."

Asked what he saw when the bang sounded, he added: "Because we are a long way away, we just heard a bang.

"Similar to that which you might imagine a shotgun would make. He fell back from his sitting position."

Speaking at the scene, a Bedfordshire Police spokeswoman said the gunman is still being treated by paramedics.

She said the man discharged his weapon and a police firearms officer may also have fired a shot.

The spokeswoman said: "He has discharged his weapon and it may be that one of the police officers has also discharged a weapon.

"The man is still on the field. The ambulance service is still working. He is not dead."

The spokeswoman said the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) will be informed of the shooting in due course.

Between 15 and 20 officers, including armed officers and specialist negotiators, worked through the night at the stand-off.

Press Association

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