‘Gunman’ opens fire from rooftop balcony in Chatham, Kent
A man in 30s has been arrested after he opened fire with multiple guns from a balcony in Chatham, Kent.
Armed police descended onto Dockside shopping centre at about 8.35am after a man was seen brandishing the weapons from a nearby block of flats.
Videos and witness accounts on social media show a man on a rooftop firing at random multiple times, with sparks coming out of the firearms. One witness claimed the man had a machine gun, rifle and a pistol and appeared to be ‘shooting at the police’.
Further footage appears to show the gunman livestreaming himself as he wanders around the apartment before opening fire. In one, he zooms in on his vast supply of weapons and bullets before stepping out onto the balcony shouting ‘call the police’.
‘Gunman’ taunts police from Chatham rooftop balcony
Terrified pedestrians and shoppers ran for cover in the Dockside Outlet as panic erupted.
One man wrote online: ‘For anyone that lives near Chatham dockside or is heading there to go shopping. AVOID at all costs.
‘A man is randomly shooting at people from the flats towards the car parks at the shopping centre. Please don’t go there and stay safe!’
Witness Sandra Pratt, who works at the Range shop nearby, told BBC Radio Kent that the incident lasted for about half-an-hour.
‘I heard a lot of shouting and what seemed like gunshot. I looked to my left and there was a guy up on the balcony with a rifle and a pistol’ she said
‘So I quickly ran into the shop and we called in any customers wandering by [who had] not realised what was going on and rung the police.’
She added: ‘We were all in the front of the shop and you could see the pistol and a rifle and you could see the sparks coming off of it. He was just randomly shooting.’
A local reporter at the scene said police cars were arriving ‘every couple of minutes’ and helicopters were surveying the area.
Kent Police advised people to stay away from the area and closed roads surrounding the shopping centre.
Armed officers could be seen entering the building shortly before the gunman’s arrest.
Police confirmed the man was arrested after they found four suspected imitation firearms.
In a statement they said: ‘Kent Police was called at 8.35am to a disturbance at a flat on Dock Head Road, Chatham.
‘Members of the public reported seeing a man on a balcony with weapons and patrols, including armed officers, attended the scene.
‘The police helicopter was also deployed and a man in 30s has now been arrested on suspicion of firearms offences.
‘Patrols remain at the scene where officers have located four suspected imitation firearms as part of their enquiries’.