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Man shot by police investigating reports of armed robbery

The man was airlifted to hospital, and his injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

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The helicopter landing nearby ( Corey Battacchio/PA)

The helicopter landing nearby ( Corey Battacchio/PA)

The helicopter landing nearby ( Corey Battacchio/PA)

A man has been shot by officers who were investigating reports of an armed robbery, Wiltshire Police said.

The man, who is in his 50s, was shot in the leg after officers had been called out to Rivermead Industrial Estate, Westlea, on Tuesday just after 5pm.

The injured man is believed to have been armed with a handgun and had allegedly stolen a lorry, Wiltshire Police said.

Armed officers stopped the lorry in the Ridge Green area when the shooting happened.

The man was airlifted to hospital, and his injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

Superintendent Phil Staynings said: “I want to reassure the community that this incident was dealt with swiftly. Nobody else was injured and the incident is now contained.

“However, people living in the area will have seen a heavy police presence, which will continue throughout the evening.

“Due to the fact that a police firearm was discharged, we have automatically referred the incident to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).”

A spokesman for the IOPC, which has launched an independent investigation into the shooting, said: “We understand, at this time, that officers from Wiltshire Police were called to a disturbance shortly after 5pm today following reports of an armed robbery in Rivermead Industrial Estate, Westlea.

“During the incident, the man, in his 50s, was shot in the leg by a firearms officer. His injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

“We have sent investigators to the scene and to the post-incident procedures.”

Local resident Corey Battacchio, 17, was in his room when he heard “a loud bang”, but he assumed it was a firework as “nothing like that ever happens around here”.

He the told PA news agency: “At around 5:30pm, I heard numerous police sirens and three circulating helicopters, (one landed) so I went outside.”

He said the man was stopped by police in an unmarked vehicle.

Mr Battacchio said: “He was shouted at many times by police to ‘put the gun down’ and therefore was shot. He was airlifted to hospital shortly after.”

The road has been shut off and forensic officers are at the scene – which is now behind a cordon, he added.

They were shouting “put the gun down” for no longer than 30 seconds, he said.

Mr Battacchio added: “I was watching it from the window upstairs, but they were shouting loud at the guy as it seemed like he didn’t put the gun down immediately.”

A passerby, who did not want to be named, said he saw two armed officers shouting “put the gun down” and pointing their weapons at a man in a lorry.

He told PA: “They got either side and they both managed to get close enough to open up the left side of the lorry.

“As he (the police officer) opened the door you could hear a bang. I am pretty sure that is the shot they him.”

PA