Four hostages have been released after armed police stormed a bookmakers amid an apparent armed robbery gone wrong involving a sawn-off shotgun.
A 39-year-old man has been arrested following the three-hour siege at the Coral shop in Jarrow, Tyne & Wear.
Northumbria Police confirmed a firearm was seized by officers but that shots heard were from a police-issue “less lethal weapon” - believed to be a Taser gun - being deployed. No-one was injured.
Dame Vera Baird, Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria, tweeted:
“All hostages free as Jarrow siege ends.
“Told: he had loaded sawn-off, but arrested without police use of firearms. Well done and glad all safe.”
Northumbria Police said in a statement:
“Police have brought the ongoing incident at the Jarrow bookmakers to a safe conclusion.
“At 8:44pm police negotiated the safe release of the fourth person from inside the premises, then at 8:53pm the man in possession of the weapon was arrested by officers.
“A firearm has been seized by officers and the 39-year-old man will be taken into police custody.
“A police issue ‘less lethal weapon’ was discharged during the incident in order to bring this matter to safe conclusion - this was the ‘shots’ that people may have heard.
“Nobody has been injured during the incident.
“Enquiries are ongoing and we will try and get the area back to normal as possible.
“We would like to thank the public for their cooperation.”
Witness Stephen Dixon, who was watching from a flat opposite, told Sky News:
“This area is usually very quiet. We were watching the telly when we could hear shouting.
“It went on longer than it usually does. We looked out of the window and the bookmakers was surrounded by police cars and the police helicopter came out as well.
“The police entered the building. It looked like... somebody was Tasered. Now, it looks like it’s all over.”