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Armed police negotiate with 72-year-old ‘gunman’

Armed police negotiate with 72-year-old ‘gunman’

Armed police are locked in a stand-off with a pensioner who is thought to have a gun.

They have been at a house in Harbour Road, Pagham, West Sussex, since receiving reports of a 72-year-old man who was said to be armed and using threatening behaviour on Sunday at around 4.10pm.

Sussex Police, who have cordoned off the property and closed the road, said negotiators are continuing to make contact with the man. Emergency services are on stand-by.

Detective Superintendent Nick Sloan said: "The safety of the local community is our utmost priority.

"Local residents in Harbour Road have been advised to stay inside, but should they wish to or need to leave their properties, we will be able to facilitate this with police support.

"Communication continues with the lone man in the house and we hope to resolve this situation as quickly and safely as possible."

A woman known to the man was also in the house but she left soon after police arrived and is safe and well.

There have been no reports of injuries.

Harbour Road is in a quiet village and sits on a dirt track between the seafront and a nature reserve.

Landscape gardener Trevor Hawkins, 54, said he could see four police officers from his home which has been taped off as part of the cordon.

He said: "I went out at about 6.30am and offered the policeman a cup of tea. He did not give much away but said that it could seem like it could go on for a long time.

"Down this street, on the whole, everybody is quite friendly and says good morning so for something like this to happen is totally out of the ordinary."

He said that police are "all out at the nature reserve at the back so it is quite a big thing".

Detective Superintendent Carwyn Hughes described the incident as an "ongoing situation" as he thanked local residents for their patience.

He said: "Communication between a trained negotiator and the 72-year-old man in the house continues."