Armed police swoop on quiet street in shooting probe

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Armed police swarmed onto a quiet street as a shooting in Warrington brought three police forces to Southport.

Officers from Lancashire and Cheshire joined their Merseyside counterparts when around seven police vehicles descended on Shaftesbury Ave.

Shocked neighbours looked on as armed officers blocked off the street on Sunday afternoon, before returning later that evening to clear a property.

The arrests came after a man was shot in the leg on Poplars Avenue, Warrington, on Friday night, suffering serious injuries.

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The victim, 55, remains in stable condition in hospital with injuries which are not life threatening.

One neighbour, who did not want to be named, said a man was arrested on Grantham Road at around 11.30am, shortly before around seven police cars and Matrix vans stormed onto Shaftesbury Avenue.

The neighbour said: “About lunchtime, I heard the police helicopter and thought ‘that’s close’.

“It was about 100 yards aboive my head. As I looked outside, I saw the lights and thought it was one of the ambulance response cars.

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“I looked outside and it was a police car right there. About 20 minutes later, seven cars rolled up, four of them the armed response.”

The witness said that they believe up to 15 police officers went inside a house, and later that evening officers returned to clear all the possessions and furniture out.

They explained that it was believed among neighbours that the home had been used as a ‘safe house’ for many years, but that none had any suspicions that the family living there were involved in anything criminal.

No-one living at the property was arrested, they added.

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A spokesman for Cheshire Police, which led the operation, said two men were arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm.

Superintendent Martin Cleworth added: “I would like to make it clear that we are doing everything in our powers to tackle this sort of criminality in Warrington and to bring those responsible to justice.

“This is a fast moving and complex investigation and would appeal to anyone with information to please get in touch.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Cheshire Police on 101 quoting IML 690217 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their website www.crimestoppers-uk.org

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