Armed police fire plastic bullet at gun suspect near Ipswich town centre

The police cordon in St Clement's Church Lane. Picture: COLIN ADWENT

The police cordon in St Clement's Church Lane. Picture: COLIN ADWENT - Credit: Archant

Armed police discharged a baton round at a man reported to be carrying a gun near Fore Street in Ipswich this afternoon, a witness has claimed.

The police cordon in St Clement's Church Lane

The police cordon in St Clement's Church Lane - Credit: Archant

The last time a baton round was fired by police in Suffolk was during an incident in Woodbridge in November last year.

The man fell to the ground in St Clement’s Church Lane with an air pistol beside him during the incident which began shortly before 2pm.

The drama is understood to have been captured on CCTV.

The witness, who asked not to be named said: “These groups of people were congregating. I thought I would just keep an eye on them.

“At this point I didn’t know there was a firearm involved.

“About five minutes later I heard a popping noise like someone throwing a glass bottle on the floor.

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“The group came back and were going around the corner. They all walked off and the next thing I heard was shouts of “armed police - get down”.

“I saw the guy standing there and heard this bang went off. I thought he (the police officer) had shot him.

“The guy fell to the ground and then I realised it was something like a baton round.

“I saw one of the officers straddling him with a gun. Then I saw a gun on the ground.”

The witness said the weapon looked like a handgun.

Another eyewitness at the scene, who did not wish to be named, said he was at the St Clement’s Church end of the alleyway where police arrested the man.

He believed the suspect was holding a BB gun.

The second witness said: “Somebody was walking around with a BB gun playing around with it.

“Before I knew it there was armed police.

“They [the man] tried to get into a building but couldn’t because the gate was locked so they went around the other side.

“They [police] just cuffed him and took him away.”

Cat Cowie, a spokeswoman for Suffolk Constabulary, said: “Police were called at 1.45pm to reports that a man had been seen with a gun in the vicinity of Grimwade Street. Firearms officers immediately attended the area and located a group of people fighting in St Clement’s Church Lane.

“Officers fired a baton round at a man in his 30s. He has been arrested on suspicion of possessing a firearm.

“He has been taken to hospital as a precaution.

“Officers have subsequently recovered what is believed to be an air pistol, and a knife from the scene.”

Anyone with information who has not already contacted police is urged to do so on 101 quoting CAD number 228 of July 20.