Police hunt man seen 'pointing gun' out of window in Belfast street
Three suspected replica guns have been seized from a building in Donegall Street following reports of a gunman pointing a firearm from a window.
Armed police swooped on the area opposite Belfast's St Anne's Cathedral after the call from a member of the public.
Bystanders were warned to keep out of the line of sight of a housing association building at Writer's Square - and told to hide behind pillars or walls for their own safety.
An extensive cordon was put up at Donegall Street and a police helicopter hovered overhead while the PSNI's rapid response unit searched the building.
After about an hour the cordon was lifted and residents of the Shac-owned property were allowed to return to their homes.
A police spokesman said: "Three suspected replica firearms have been recovered from a room in the building and an investigation is now underway to identify and apprehend anyone involved."
There were reports that a man was seen carrying a gun in a corridor on the fourth floor of the (Student Housing Accommodation) building.
Chris Donaghy, 30, lives on the second floor of the property. He said the experience was traumatic.
"We came off the elevator and were met by police searching everyone and taking details. Then the building was put into lock down.
"It is a bit disconcerting to step off the lift and be met with someone with a riot shield and another officer with an assault rifle. We usually only see council noise teams out," he said.
Danuta Czyan, 57, said it was a frightening experience. "The police would not let us in the building, we were confused about what happened. I didn't see anybody with a gun. Nobody knows what happened."
Belfast Telegraph Digital