ARMED police were called afteraman was seen carrying a gun in a Westcliff street.
Part of Milton Road remained cordoned off yesterday after the man was seen with the weapon outside a house.
Officers were called to the scene at around 11pm on Monday, but found no trace of the man or the weapon.
One woman claimed she had heard a gunshot before police swarmed to the scene, while others were concerned at the drama unfolding outside their homes.
Natalie Wall, who lives in the street, said: “It was late at night.
I heardwhat sounded like a gunshot noise and saw a man get in a car across the road, but I didn’t see anything more.”
Another resident, who asked not to be named, said: “I got back just before midnight and saw all the police cars – I was petrified.
“There were about four or five cars all parked on the road and it looked like some people were going in and out of a house.”
The police cordon stretched from Carey House to 32 Milton Road, with residential properties blocked off and the car park for the Avenue Baptist Church.
Yesterday morning, police officers were at the scene letting residents and workers through the cordon so they could get into their homes and businesses.
A police statement said: “Neighbourhood police officers remain at the scene conducting house to house inquiries. A section of the road will remain closed until after lunch time.”
Staff at Eco Wings, a centre for young adults with learning or physical disabilities, and Avenue Baptist Church’s playgroup said the incident had not affected their business, but a tradesman working at a nearby house was worried about the cordon’s impact.
He said: “My boss is trying to sell a house on the road, so I’m not sure this is great news for him.”