Police shoot sword-wielding man

POLICE shot a man with rubber bullet gun after he confronted officers with a samurai sword on a Suffolk housing estate.Firearms officers used a baton gun – which fires large plastic bullets – on the sword-wielding man in the Beaconsfield Court area of Haverhill early yesterday morning.

POLICE shot a man with rubber bullet gun after he confronted officers with a samurai sword on a Suffolk housing estate.

Firearms officers used a baton gun - which fires large plastic bullets - on the sword-wielding man in the Beaconsfield Court area of Haverhill early yesterday morning.

Suffolk police said the 30-year-old man was hit with a single shot to his torso and his injury was not thought to be serious.

A full investigation will now take place into the incident, in which no-one else was injured. The force said it was not the first time they had used a baton gun.


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Shocked residents said they were woken just after 1am to the sound of screaming and shouting on the housing estate.

One nearby resident, Arthur Nasielenko , said he remembered hearing the single shot, which was followed by silence.

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"I was woken up by a lot of noise, and I could hear shouting," he said.

"There were lots police officers and I heard a helicopter flying over the house. A man was screaming and then I heard a gun shot, and then everything went quiet."

Other residents said they had also been woken up by the commotion, although no-one saw the man with the Samurai sword.

One woman, who did not want to be named, said: "We heard a lot of noise but we didn't know what was happening at the time.

"You can often hear people shouting as they walk home from the pub, and we just assumed that was what it was.

"But then my husband went outside and he saw police cars arrive, and we could hear someone shouting the words 'come on then'. It was then that we realised it was more than just someone on the way home from a night out."

Another resident said: "It is a real shock that something like this has happened. This is normally a quiet area and a lot of families live here. People just tend to keep themselves to themselves."

Police received an emergency call just after 1am with a report of a man carrying a samurai sword on a path.

Local officers went to Beaconsfield Court and called for back-up from armed officers. They were confronted by the man who was wielding the sword and shot him using the baton gun at 1.40am. He was then arrested.

Paramedics administered initial medical assistance at the scene, before taking the man to West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds as a precautionary measure.

Last night, a spokesman for Suffolk police said baton guns, which can be lethal, were only used by trained firearms officers, and only after a full risk assessment of a situation had been carried out.

"It is a less lethal option that shooting someone with a real gun," he said.

"The gun is aimed at the torso, the force of which makes the person fall to the ground, therefore stopping them in their tracks.

"All police forces have got baton guns and they are always carried by officers. This is certainly not the first time Suffolk police has used a baton gun."

Police cordoned off part of Beaconsfield Court and a full investigation has now been launched into the incident.

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