Manhunt sparked near Higher Kinnerton after reports of shots being fired


Romilly Scragg

A MASSIVE manhunt was sparked after reports of shots being fired on farmland in the early hours of the morning.

Armed officers converged on the Higher Kinnerton area on the Cheshire-Flintshire border after police say a firearm was discharged at about 5.15am.

Lanes in the Kinnerton Road area were closed off as police searched fields and buildings for a man they wanted to speak to in connection with the early hours incident.

Later in the morning, more armed officers combed Chester city centre after initial reports the man had gone to the city.

At least four officers armed with MP5 rifles were in attendance near The Chester Grosvenor hotel and shoppers also reported a larger than normal police presence patrolling Bridge Street and Foregate Street.

People in the city spoke of shock and concern at the city centre scenes.

Some firms advised staff not to venture out for lunch yesterday.

The police helicopter was sighted in both areas during the day.

The drama was brought to an end at about 2pm, when police confirmed an arrest had been made.

A spokesman said: "A 63-year-old man, local to the Kinnerton area, has today been arrested in relation to the incident in Kinnerton.

“Police can confirm that they are not looking for anyone else in connection with this incident.”

In Kinnerton, an emotional Jean Pleavin-Adge, who had spent the morning giving a statement to North Wales Police, said she had heard shots in the early hours but had assumed it was someone poaching.

“I heard two shots – bang, bang – and then a third,” she said.

Husband Terry Adge who had been out with police assisting in the search effort and returned home at just after 2pm to tell his wife the wanted man had been found at an address in Mold.

Earlier yesterday a spokesman for North Wales Police said: “Police believe a firearm was discharged in the early hours of this morning in the vicinity of Kinnerton Road, Kinnerton.

“Officers are liaising with Cheshire Police to locate a man in relation to the incident.”

Before the arrest yesterday a Cheshire Constabulary spokesman confirmed officers had assisted in the search.

“Initial information suggested the man may have travelled to the Chester city area,” a spokesman said.

“The public in Chester will have noticed an increased level of police activity as enquiries were conducted to locate the man.”

l The armed police presence was the talk of social media with residents across both sides of the border taking to Twitter to speculate about what had gone on:

Hannah Williams (@han_w25) tweeted: “Lots of police presence in Hope/Kinnerton area also ambulances! Hope all is okay. x.”

Gina Riley (@GinaSmileyRiley) from Chester said: “What's with the helicopter over Chester for the last hour?!”

John Holt (@johnholtmagic) also questioned the police patrols. “Does anybody know why the armed police are out patrolling Chester in large numbers? #chestertweets”

Mark Walker (@markwalker) said he'd spotted armed police in Chester city centre carrying heavy ammunition just before 12.25pm.

“Just seen a firearms officer walking down Watergate Street. What's going on!?”

TheMrJevz (@TheMrJevZ) spotted officers just before noon: “Armed police were stood outside Grosvenor (hotel) and unmarked cars on Foregate street.”

Natalie (@_inklines) spotted additional forces just after 1.30pm: “Armed police, snipers and sniffer dogs all over Chester, but no idea why.”

See full story in the Chester Leader

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