Armed police surrounded and arrested a man after shots were fired from a suspected blank-firing handgun in the middle of a Nottinghamshire town centre.
Officers were called to Mansfield Market Place shortly before 11.45pm yesterday (Wednesday) evening when a member of the public saw the weapon being fired, before the gunman walked calmly away with the weapon tucked in his trousers.
Armed response officers on routine patrol raced the scene within minutes and – supported by a council CCTV operator – detained in West Gate a short time later
A 37-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and remains in police custody.
The weapon, believed to be a blank firing handgun, has been recovered and investigations are ongoing.
Detective Sergeant Matthew Dumbrell, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “This would have been an extremely alarming incident for anyone who witnessed or heard it. Although no actual bullets were fired and we believe this was a blank-firing, non-lethal weapon it would certainly have sounded very much like a real handgun.
“Our armed response officers were on the scene within minutes and did a great job to detain the suspect so quickly. I would also like to thank the CCTV operator for their excellent work in helping to bring this incident to a peaceful conclusion.
“Incidents like this are thankfully incredibly rare but are always treated with the utmost seriousness. If we see anyone in any part of our county with a firearm of any description they will respond with the utmost speed and they will be arrested by armed officers who will always assume that a weapon is genuine and act accordingly.”