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Police and air ambulance called after two men injured in High Halden

A man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after two men were shot in High Halden.

A huge police presence remains in the village this evening following the double shooting.

Emergency crews, including firearms officers, two police helicopters and an air ambulance were called to the scene near Martens Lane this morning.

VIDEO: Armed police at the scene

Villagers reported hearing shots, and were told the area would be sealed off for several hours.

They were also told to stay indoors because a gunman was on the loose.

The suspect was arrested just before 5pm on suspicion of attempted murder.

Emergency crews in Brissenden Green Lane
Emergency crews in Brissenden Green Lane

A police spokesman said: "Kent Police is continuing to carry out enquiries in the High Halden area following an incident reported at 11.12am on 3 November 2016.

"Officers were called to the Marten Park area of High Halden, Ashford, where two men who had sustained gunshot wounds had been found.

"The men were airlifted to hospital with serious injuries.

"Officers arrested a man at 4.55pm on 3 November, on suspicion of attempted murder.

VIDEO: A police helicopter seen hovering over the village. Credit: Georgia Padgham.

"Homeowners who had been restricted from leaving or entering their homes are now able to do so."

"There is a large police presence in the area this afternoon while officers continue with their enquiries."

One of the men suffered injuries to his head, chest and arm. It is unclear how many times or where on their bodies each man was shot.

Police at the scene in High Halden
Police at the scene in High Halden

Earlier, villagers reported seeing several police cars and vans, two helicopters, dog units, and officers in full body armour apparently looking for someone.

John Gormly, who owns Plurenden Manor Farm, a nearby dairy farm at the centre of the cordon, said he was told there had been a shooting.

He added: "The police came here this morning with machine guns and asked us if there was anything untoward going on.

Police at the scene
Police at the scene

"They didn't search the house or anything and it's nothing to do with us, they were just checking around the houses."

Georgia Padgham, who lives nearby, said: "I've seen four police cars parked in the driveway of a house down Martens Lane and then two more police vehicles waiting up the road and two helicopters circling as if someone's done a runner.

"All police are armed and all have full body kit and visor guard type head masks. I also saw a dog vehicle and there's more sirens coming."

Police blocking off the entrance to Standard Lane, Bethersden
Police blocking off the entrance to Standard Lane, Bethersden

Another resident, who did not want to be named, said: "I was coming home and the helicopter was going around. I saw the blue lights, and they have blocked off Plurenden Manor Farm.

"Police told me there has been a shooting and that they are looking for someone still at large. Whoever got shot ended up at Lyndhurst Farm."

Abdul Harun, manager at Mumbai Gate restaurant at Standard Lane, where one of the roads has been blocked, said: "Helicopters are flying around and around, keeping an eye on things.

"Someone passing by has said they heard it could be a shooting. The roads around have been blocked from here towards Woodchurch."

Ian Anderson, who runs a bed & breakfast and farm in Brissenden Lane said police cordoned off Brissenden Lane at the junction of the A28 Ashford Road on the approach to Bethersden.

He said: "I believe the police have closed all the roads around here. There are helicopters which have been flying around all morning.

"Apparently there has been a shooting. Police have said the roads will be closed for at least another couple of hours.

"Police cars have been going up and down the lanes. It looks as though they are looking for someone. One hopes there is not somebody running around at large.

Armed officers in Plurenden Road
Armed officers in Plurenden Road

"Some of the officers in unmarked cars have obviously been firearms squad. A couple of chaps had black helmets on, and a few people have told me they've seen them with guns."

Reporter Vicky Castle said armed officers were active at the scene, with the heaviest presence in Plurenden Road.

The search area extended to the countryside to the south of Bethersden, where roads leading to Woodchurch from the A28 were all blocked by police.

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