Gun­men fire in park

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page - by Sa­man­tha Wil­liams saw­illiams@thek­m­group.co.uk @SamWil­liamsKM

Caught in the fir­ing line – a gun­man shoots at a tar­get in a public park.

This alarm­ing scene was snapped in the Queen Mother’s Park, off Mace Lane, Ash­ford by a fright­ened woman on Tues­day.

She called po­lice to re­port see­ing three men crouched near bushes, fir­ing the black ma­chine-type gun around mid­day.

The wit­ness said: “The gun was fired sev­eral times over a space of a few min­utes. It sounded sim­i­lar to a ma­chine gun.”

An in­ves­ti­ga­tion has been launched af­ter three men were spot­ted in an Ash­ford park armed with a weapon.

They were seen aim­ing a black ma­chine-type gun at a tar­get in the Queen Mother’s Park, off Mace Lane, on Tues­day.

The alarm­ing sight was cap­tured by a passer-by on her cam­era, who was so pan­icked by what she saw that she called the po­lice.

A po­lice spokesman con­firmed that a search of the area was car­ried out fol­low­ing the call and that the in­ci­dent is be­ing looked into.

The trio were spot­ted in the park, close to Ash­ford fire sta­tion, at about noon.

A woman who was out walk­ing said she was first alerted to their pres­ence by a noise sim­i­lar to a ma­chine gun be­ing fired.

She said: “I heard a rat-a-tat noise and thought to my­self ‘what was that?’

“I didn’t imag­ine it was a weapon.

“I looked around and as I got closer to the group I could see the thing that was raised was a gun.”

The wit­ness, who asked to re­main anony­mous, said they were fir­ing at what looked like a tar­get board lean­ing against a bike.

She added: “The gun was fired sev­eral times over a space of a few min­utes. It sounded sim­i­lar to a ma­chine gun. “The noise lasted a few sec­onds. “It might be a BB gun, but it was a con­vinc­ing one

“It is still a firearm and was be­ing used in a public place – where chil­dren and dog walk­ers go.

“A dog could have easily got in the line of fire.

“It an­noyed me. I just thought ‘what stupid id­iots’.”

Af­ter be­ing spot­ted by the woman, the trio, two of whom are pic­tured here, packed up and left the park.

She added: “If they were do­ing noth­ing wrong, or had noth­ing to hide, they wouldn’t have left.”

Po­lice of­fi­cers were sent to the park to search the area but, as the men had al­ready left, found noth­ing.

They also vis­ited the caller later that day.

“The po­lice said it was not an ar­restable of­fence but that they would have moved them on,” she added.

“They looked at the photo and said it looked like a BB gun, but that it was quite pow­er­ful.”

A po­lice spokesman said: “We re­ceived a re­port at 12.33pm on Tues­day, Septem­ber 8, that a man was in pos­ses­sion of what was be­lieved to be a firearm in the Queen Mother’s Park, Ash­ford.

“Of­fi­cers at­tended the scene and searched but no firearm was found. “In­quiries are on­go­ing.” A spokesman for Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil, which owns the park, said they had not re­ceived any calls about the in­ci­dent.

But he added: “We would ex­pect peo­ple to be­have in an ap­pro­pri­ate man­ner when us­ing the parks and have spe­cific con­sid­er­a­tion for other res­i­dents.”

Ash­ford In­spec­tor Julien Law­ton said: ‘We would re­mind any­one who owns a BB gun, that while it may be le­gal to pos­sess in an ap­pro­pri­ate set­ting, they should not have these weapons in a public place as they can cause un­nec­es­sary alarm. Those who do so can ex­pect to be ar­rested and may face po­ten­tially very se­ri­ous con­se­quences.’

What do you think? Write to Ken­tish Ex­press, 34-36 North Street, Ash­ford, TN24 8JR or email ken­tish­ex­press@thek­m­group.co.uk

The men were spot­ted fir­ing a weapon in Queen Mother’s Park in Ash­ford

Queen Mother’s Park in Ash­ford

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