The dramatic moment a man fires a handgun toward officers during a siege is captured in a new series of Police interceptors tonight.
Hours into the nerve-racking stand-off in Basford, with multiple rifles pointing at a front door, the man emerges and discharges the gun.
The first episode in the second series of the programme featuring Nottinghamshire Police raises the complex issues firearms officers face when dealing with an armed suspect and them having a split-second to decide whether to return fire.
One of the officers at the scene was firearms constable Bruce Arnold. He said: “We had been updated by the intelligence team that the suspect might have a firearm so initially it was a very serious situation where lives were potentially at risk.
“The man then opened the door and while we were negotiating with him, suddenly shot at us before closing the door. He then went to the patio window, opened it and shot towards officers within the blink-of-an-eye.”
The incident happened in Bagnall Road at around 7.45pm on 2 August 2020 and it wasn’t until 3.55am the following day that the man gave himself up and was arrested on suspicion of possession of an imitation firearm.
Constable Arnold said: “As the incident progressed, our suspicions were that it was blank firing pistol but you have to treat this as a worst case scenario as if it was a real firearm.
“When the shots were fired unexpectedly, it happened so quickly – you take cover but there’s no time to think. You’re thinking about the wider threat to the public, his safety and your own safety.
“We are highly trained in this kind of situation so fortunately we don’t have many cases where we’ve been forced to respond with lethal force.
“We have a well-established team which we work incredibly closely with and have to put a lot of trust in each other, especially in these circumstances.
“We also work alongside other policing teams as well as our ambulance and fire colleagues.
“We take in all the information that’s in front of us including visual body language and intelligence. In this scenario, we had a containment in place with colleagues giving us cover whilst we were negotiating with the suspect.
“However, information can change very quickly and we’re always on our toes ready to adapt to the situation that could change at any moment.
“There’s a lot to consider including the possibility of a provoke shooting situation, another area we’re intensively trained in.”
Following further investigative work Shaun Sydney was charged and pleaded guilty to possession of an imitation firearm with intent and possession of cannabis with intent to supply. As a result, the 56-year-old of Bagnall Road was sentenced to 20 months in prison on 10 February 2021.
PC Arnold has a wealth of experience in firearms incidents having been with the team for 13 years.
He started his career with Nottinghamshire Police as a response officer at central police station in May 2001.
He has always demonstrated a passion for the action having worked on various proactive teams in the city centre.
He is also an operational firearms commander so often finds himself being in charge of the strategic decisions during a firearms incident.
“I thoroughly enjoy being at the forefront of the action and playing a part in combatting the serious crimes we are faced with. We also cover a large area and we get a very broad spectrum of jobs so it keeps it exciting and interesting,” PC Arnold said.
“I also really like the physical side of things. I’m 47 this year and have to keep up my fitness levels and underake a large amount of tactical firearms training and decision making.”
True to style, Tonight’s Interceptors show also features a variety of police pursuits, including a rusty old car and a suspect who tries to escape on-foot in a high-visibility jacket as well as a runaway cyclist who meets the wrath of the knife crime team. And firearms officers are left slightly bemused when a diver of an uninsured Nissan Micra with no MOT turns out to live in his car.
Catch all of the action tonight at 8pm on My5.