Manchester

Man shot at armed officers in Oldham with airgun

A 19-year-old man who shot at armed police with an airgun was "extremely fortunate" to come out of the incident unscathed, police have said.

He fired at the three armed officers from a house in Aden Street, Oldham, at 0125 BST.

They had been called to the area after receiving reports that a man, armed with a handgun, had threatened people nearby a few hours earlier.

Officers realised he only had an airgun and persuaded him to give himself up.

A police spokesman said the armed police could tell the weapon was a gas-powered pistol because of the noise the shots made.

A man is currently in custody on suspicion of possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

Assistant Chief Constable Terry Sweeney said: "We are talking about an extremely fortunate young man this morning.

"To threaten armed officers with a weapon and to actually shoot at them is appallingly reckless, not just to others, but to himself.

"Armed response officers are trained to protect themselves and others with force if necessary and, had the circumstances been different, this could have ended in a tragic outcome.

"However, I must pay tribute to the professionalism and restraint of the officers who recognised, from the sound of the shots, that they were facing an air weapon.

"This also highlights the inherent dangers in air weapons. They are not toys and should never be pointed at another person. They are lethal weapons that can kill and can get you killed."

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