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Armed siege man shot by police

Police marksmen - and dog - at the scene. Picture: MATT WALKER
Police marksmen - and dog - at the scene. Picture: MATT WALKER

POLICE marksmen fired a plastic baton round at a man who threatened them after running from a house in Sherwood Road, Tunbridge Wells, brandishing what appeared to be a knife.

The shot followed several hours in which the man, at first believed to be armed with a gun, refused to leave his first-floor flat after officers were called there shortly before 8am today.

The baton round, similar to those used to quell riots, appeared to strike the man's legs and while he was disabled, armed officers and a police dog surged forward to secure him.

The man suffered minor injuries and was taken to hospital for treatment. Police later said they had chosen to fire a baton round as a "less than lethal option" in dealing with the incident.

Details have since been forwarded to the Independent Police Complaints Commission as a matter of course.

The incident began after what neighbours said appeared to have been an argument over a dog. A woman who went to claim the animal was said to have had a brick thrown at her.

When police were called to the flat there were fears the man had a gun and an armed response unit was deployed as nearby homes were evacuated and the road was cordoned off.

James Sherlock, 48, a lorry driver and his wife, a nurse, have lived in the flat below for the past seven years. Mr Sherlock said he had been preparing to go to work when police arrived.

He said: "All of a sudden there was a bobby on the doorstep and talk about a gun. The next thing I knew I was down the road behind a police tape. It all happened so fast I even left my door wide open.

"I believe the man had argued with his cousin over the ownership of a Staffordshire bull terrier and became violent, throwing a brick at her."

Buses were forced off route and through traffic diverted as police, some in riot gear and armed with guns, surrounded the flat and called on the man to come out.

When he did emerge at 11.45am he ran out of the front door, waving what appeared to be a knife, but was knocked back by the baton round.

An ambulance was brought forward and the man was taken off under guard. Police later said a man had been arrested.

Kent Messenger Group reporter Nigel Jarrett reported from the scene for KM-fm...

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