Armed police launch manhunt for suspected gunman in Welwyn Garden City

ARMED police officers swarmed the Panshanger area of WGC last night (Friday) after reports of a gunman threatening motorists.

Dozens of officers and the force helicopter raced to the B1000 Hertford Road at 10.45pm after worried drivers called 999.

A police spokeswoman told the Welwyn Hatfield Times the reports said a man was standing in the middle of the road beckoning cars to stop.

The man was acting in a menacing and aggressive manner and, because of the way he was standing, motorists believed he was holding a rifle, the spokeswoman said.

As armed police launched a manhunt, Inspector Phillippa Dowsett called nearby Tewin Bury Farm, which was hosting a function, and ordered partygoers to stay indoors for their own safety.

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An eyewitness told the Welwyn Hatfield Times punters at the Fairway Tavern, on the Panshanger Golf Complex on Old Herns Lane, were also told not to leave the pub.

Around an hour later, police surrounded a suspect and used a Taser in order to detain him.

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“We Tasered him because we believed he had a gun,” the police spokeswoman said

No weapon was found.

* A 37-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of affray.

At time of writing he is in custody at Hatfield police station.

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