Gunmen fire in park
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.’
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The men were spotted firing a weapon in Queen Mother’s Park in Ashford
Queen Mother’s Park in Ashford