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Village shaken by armed siege death


Police at the scene in Sutton St James, Lincolnshire

Police at the scene in Sutton St James, Lincolnshire

Police at the scene in Sutton St James, Lincolnshire

A village is in shock after an elderly resident was found dead in a house following an armed stand-off with police negotiators.

Officers entered the home of the man, named locally as Barry Horspool, in Sutton St James, Lincolnshire, on Tuesday night after an incident earlier in the day in which a policeman was injured.

Police have refused to confirm the man's name or reports that his gun licence was under review and that they were attending the property to seize his shotguns.

Officers entered the house in Chapelgate at 10.30pm, carried out a "methodical search" and found the body of a man in an upstairs room, police said. They had been called to the scene just before 11am after reports of a man making threats with a firearm.

Police said no shots were fired by officers and the incident had been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission for investigation.

A policeman has been discharged from the Pilgrim Hospital in Boston after suffering a minor facial injury during the operation. "The circumstances of his injury are subject to investigation and no further information can be released at this time," a police spokesman said.

Residents are now free to leave their homes after a "sterile cordon" was imposed in streets close to the incident. They were warned to stay indoors on Tuesday as armed officers cordoned off the area around the house.

Residents said Mr Horspool was a long-standing resident of Sutton St James who kept himself to himself. He lived with his wife and had a daughter and had two young granddaughters who regularly visited the semi-detached house.

Dan Haggarty, 41, said: "I'd see him on his mobility scooter and he'd always say hello. He was an elderly bloke but I couldn't tell you his age - in his 60s, late 60s perhaps.

"It all kicked off yesterday morning about 10.30 and we heard someone had let off a firearm and a policeman had been injured. Then we saw the armed response coming into the village. It's a tragedy really because this is a great village to live in - very friendly, and it's a great place to bring up kids."

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