Police swoop on gunman's home in Bond Street, Tunstall
RESIDENTS were left terrified when armed police shut off their road following reports a 'distressed' man had a gun.
Officers in riot gear cordoned off Bond Street, Tunstall, after a 34-year-old 'vulnerable' man was seen with an air rifle.
Families were told to stay indoors from 6.30pm on Tuesday as dozens of police and trained negotiators pulled up outside their homes.
Sara Awas, aged 32, of Bond Street, told how she was too scared to sleep in her front bedroom following the incident.
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The full-time mother-of-three said: "I have never seen anything like it before.
"The police were telling me to stay in the house and my husband got stuck for an hour behind a cordon after he finished work.
"I was quite scared because I had the children with me and I didn't know what was going on.
"I just saw the man standing outside his front door but he was refusing to go with officers."
Witnesses said police had guns pointed at the windows and were flashing a torch into the house before they smashed down the front door.
Sara, who has lived there for three years, said: "The police were asking for him to give himself up but he went back inside and turned all the lights off. I was surprised because he seemed like a quiet ordinary man."
Police confirmed the man was alone at the address.
He was treated at the scene by paramedics before being taken to a 'place of safety'.
He was not seriously injured and nobody else was harmed.
Unemployed Fayyaz Shahid, aged 27, of Bond Street, said: "I heard the police sirens outside but I didn't realise how serious it was."
The road was re-opened at 10pm.
Chief Inspector Adrian Roberts, commander of Stoke-on-Trent North Local Policing Team (LPT), said: "All reports of incidents involving suspected firearms are treated extremely seriously and the appropriate resources are deployed.
"On this occasion a man was in a distressed state and has subsequently being taken to a place of safety and is now receiving medical care.
"Our top priority is the safety of members of the public and our officers. Each incident is assessed and the appropriate action taken.
"I would like to thank members of the community for their understanding and patience. Anyone with concerns is asked to speak to their local officers on patrol in the area today."