This is the terrifying moment a gunman casually strolled past a snow-covered garden yards from a child’s sledge – brandishing a PISTOL which he pointed at police.
Armed cops swooped on the leafy street in picturesque Much Wenlock, Shrops., at 4pm on Easter Sunday after two officers were threatened by the man.
After aiming the weapon at police he walked down the road “cool as a cucumber” in broad daylight smoking a cigarette while brandishing the firearm as children ran into their homes.
He then attempted to force his way into what is believed to be a current serving policeman’s former home before trained marksmen fired a shot in his direction – which missed.
A police dog was then released which tackled the gunman so that officers could make an arrest.
The man, in his 50s, was then taken into custody at Malinsgate Police Station, Telford, Shrops., where he was being quizzed by detectives.
Terrified parent Jane Shepherd, 37, captured the gunman walking past her house on her mobile phone.
The mum-of-three said her eight-year-old son William, had been playing outside with his friends building snowmen when the man walked past holding the weapon.
She said: “Police officers ran up to them and screamed at them to get indoors.
“My son ran in and said ‘mum there’s a man with a gun outside’ and I obviously didn’t believe him – I thought April Fool’s Day had come early.
“But then I looked outside and I saw a man at the foot of my front garden holding a pistol and smoking a cigarette.
“He was as cool as a cucumber.
“At one point the police were hiding behind my car.
“They shot at him after he raised the pistol to the homeowner of the property he was trying to get in to.
“The house he was targeting used to belong to a police officer – so he was probably after him.
“I couldn’t believe it when I just watched him mooch past the door holding a gun like he had no care in the world.
“Armed police were there in seconds, they shot but missed him and then they set the dog on him.
“It’s a miracle nobody was hurt – because he was waving the weapon around like it was a plaything.”
Mrs Shepherd who runs a construction company and has three children Katie, 10, William, eight, and George, five, added: “I worked in London and I’m from Essex but I came up here because it is quiet and peaceful.
“Nothing like that has happened here before, it’s usual so rural and tranquil and everybody is deeply shocked.”
West Mercia Police have now referred the case to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
A force spokesman said: “A shot was fired by an armed officer but no one was injured in the incident.
“Armed officers and dog units were called in and at 4.25pm, the man was approached as he attempted to enter a property in Stretton Road.
“Again, he appeared to threaten them with a handgun and a shot was fired by an armed officer.
“The round did not hit the man and he was arrested shortly after being tackled by a police dog.
“As in all such firearms incidents, the matter has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.”
The gunman arrested after a police marksman fired a shot at him was today held under the Mental Health Act.
The man, who has not been named, was being assessed by experts at a mental health hospital.
Detective Chief Inspector Neil Jamieson, of West Mercia Police, said: “We have now completed our work at the scene in Stretton Road, but our inquiries continue, including house-to-house inquiries around Much Wenlock and we have had a lot of witnesses come forward.”