Published: 15:57, 29 July 2014
A man is believed to have shot himself dead during an armed police-stand off - hours after a woman was stabbed in the same flat.
Police recovered a gun from the home where the 47-year-old man died as negotiators tried to get him out of a building on a housing estate in South Darenth.
Detectives are not treating his death as suspicious or looking for anyone else in connection with it or the woman's injuries in Esparto Way yesterday morning.
Armed response teams were called after the 45-year-old woman suffered serious knife wounds in an assault at about 10.30am.
After police cordoned off the block for several hours and people were urged to stay inside, police last night confirmed they entered the property to find a man dead inside. Next of kin have been informed.
A police spokesman said today: "Officers attended Esparato Way after a report that a woman had received knife wounds.
"She was taken to hospital, but her injuries are not considered life-threatening.
"Officers contained an address in the street and upon entering found a deceased man.
"A firearm was recovered. His death is not being treated as suspicious and next of kin have been informed.
"An investigation is underway into the full circumstances."
The woman was taken to King's College Hospital, in London, with serious thorax injuries.
An air ambulance had landed in a nearby sports field, but she was taken to hospital by a South East Coast Ambulance Service road ambulance.
A neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said she had heard the victim was stabbed in the back.
Officers had cordoned off an area of about 200 yards surrounding the block of flats, before scaling back the area at 2.30pm when officers had "made contact with the man".
However, they later confirmed in the evening he had been discovered dead when they entered the flat.
Gemma Reeks was in her house behind the Co-op when police cordoned off the area.
The 29-year-old said she saw four police officers with guns in the car park next to a block of flats across the road from her house.
She said: "I didn't hear any gunshots, but I'd only been inside for about two hours and the police had been here ages.
"There was a police officer standing outside and, when I asked what was going on through the window, he just said they were trying to cordon off the area and that it would be quicker if we stayed in our houses.
"It was just bizarre - they were literally pointing guns up at the flat window."
Speaking from inside his home in The Mill in Esparto Way, witness John Hinton described the scene.
The 32-year-old said: "I was just having my breakfast and heard some vehicles outside.
"I looked out and saw some policemen with guns. They have cordoned off the area and they are looking up at the flats.
"I was watching from the window and the officers waved me away."
Residents peered out of windows to see what was going on and it is believed members of staff at the Co-op store, which was inside the cordon, were told to stay inside.
Chris Hipwood, 30, who owns a flat in The Mill but does not live there, said: "I was just taking the dog for a walk and you can't really avoid all this, can you?
"I live right on the corner and I saw someone put something out on Twitter. They are not letting anyone in at the moment, apart from police vehicles."
The Mill is a smart development of apartments, which surrounds an old mill tower in rural south Darenth.
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