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Gunman' tackled in town centre
ARMED police swooped on Basildon town centre after reports of a man being seen with a gun.
The drama unfolded at 8.30am yesterday after police received a 999 call to say the man had been spotted with the weapon near the Wilkinson store and Lloyds Bank, in St Martin’s Square.
Crowds gathered as armed officers arrived at the scene and soon spotted the suspect sitting on a bench. They pointed their Tasers at him and told him to get on the floor.
One shocked eyewitness, a 29- year-old worker from Basildon, who was walking through the town, described the scene.
He said: “There were two police officers who turned up in a 4x4-type police vehicle and when I saw them, they had Tasers pointed at the man.
“They shouted at him to get down on the ground, which he did, and he was lying on his front.
“He looked like a bit of a scallywag and not the sort of person to have a gun. The police were really calm and clear in their instructions.
“It was so strange because loads of us stopped to watch, but other people were walking past on their way to work as if nothing was happening.”
A spokeswoman for Essex Police said: “Police were contacted with a report of a man with a firearm inBasildon town centre. Armed officers attended and a man was arrested. He remains in police custody.
“Officers carried out a search of the area, but no firearm has been recovered at this stage.”
A 40-year-old man from Basildon, arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm, is still being questioned.
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