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A stand-off between police and a man who is ‘believed to be armed’ and has his eight-year-old son inside a Coventry house has entered its third day today.
The incident, involving specially trained officers in the Earlsdon area of the city, began after a concern for welfare check by West Midlands Police at the three-storey Victorian property at 12.20am on Sunday.
The force is telling residents who live near the stand-off they are free to leave their homes but, if they live within the ‘outer cordon’, they should ‘please approach officers on the perimeter to exit or enter either on foot or in a vehicle’.
Those who live within the ‘inner cordon’ are advised to call 101 so police can arrange for an officer to escort them.
Police, who are now extending the cordon around the property, have said the 41-year-old man inside is ‘believed to be armed’, and specialist negotiators are continuing to speak to him ‘in an effort to bring the situation to a safe conclusion’.
Earlsdon Primary School was closed yesterday and will remain so today due to the incident, and a library near the scene on Earlsdon Avenue North – where houses are typically worth £240,000 – has opened as a ‘help centre’.
Photos of police outside the property have been posted on two Facebook accounts linked to the suspect. One showed six officers aiming guns at his front door from behind the protection of riot shields.
Earlsdon Ave North in Coventry today where armed police are heading into day three of an armed stand off with a man who has barricaded himself and his son inside a property since the early hours of Sunday morning
Earlsdon Ave North in Coventry where armed police are heading into day three of an armed stand off
Firing line: This photo was shared online by the 41-year-old suspect engaged in an armed standoff with police at a home in Coventry which has been ongoing since Saturday night
The force is telling residents who live near the stand-off they are free to leave their homes but, if they live within the ‘outer cordon’, they should ‘please approach officers on the perimeter to exit or enter either on foot or in a vehicle’. Those who live within the ‘inner cordon’ are advised to call 101 so police can arrange for an officer to escort them
One neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: ‘We can’t believe its still going on but some of us are being allowed to leave our homes now.
‘I think negotiators have been there all night, I saw them taking food at some point and I heard he is updating social media a lot.’
Another woman, who lives on nearby Newcombe Road, added: ‘The numbers of police outside the cordon has dropped but officers are still at the house.
‘Officers have had their guns trained on the place but so far there has been no movement. It’s quite scary as this is a nice road.
‘I was hoping it would have been resolved by now as we are all really worried. We are able to leave our house but people are still stuck at home inside the cordon.’
One neighbour, who asked not to be named, had said: ‘The house is surrounded by armed police so there’s nowhere for him to go.
Armed police officers outside a property in Earlsdon Avenue North, Coventry yesterday
Pictured: Police at a house on Earlsdon Avenue in Coventry on Sunday 9th January
‘The negotiators have tried to nudge him gently but it doesn’t sound like much progress has been made.
‘He has always seemed OK with me but he does have mental health issues. There are two boys who come and visit him – I don’t think they live there.
‘I was told he allowed one of them to leave on Saturday but the other boy is still inside. I’ve been told that he has been posting things on social media during the standoff.’
Another neighbour posted a video of the incident in Earlsdon, Coventry, with a police officer shouting: ‘I have got officers with me, it is nothing to be worried about, they are here to keep everybody safe.
‘Can you hear me at all? Can you say something so that I know that you’re OK?’
The negotiator offered the man and his son food – and a fish finger sandwich on white bread was requested.
Disruption to residents continues three days into the stand-off. One mother of a newborn baby who lives on the road, Laura Bush, had to ask her family to pass nappies over the cordon as she struggled to secure supplies.
She told Coventry Live: ‘It’s really scary, especially with a newborn and very unusual for the area, which is normally very safe and quiet.’
Coventry City Council is arranging temporary accommodation for people who cannot enter their homes due to the cordoning.
After the man refused to come out of the house following the welfare check, specialist officers including armed police were dispatched and ambulance crews have also been seen in the area. Pictured: Part of the large police cordon in Earlsdon, Coventry, January 9
Chief Superintendent Pete Henrick, Coventry Police Commander, said: ‘We understand that this situation is deeply worrying for some local residents and we want to reassure them that we are doing everything we can to bring it to a safe conclusion.
‘I ask that people bear with us as specialist officers remain at the scene.’
Police had earlier said the man was refusing to leave the home and the child is thought to be inside.
Ambulance incident response units have were seen on standby and a large area spanning multiple streets was cordoned off by police.
Residents were told to stay in their homes by officers.
Speaking to CoventryLive yesterday, one resident said: ‘I had not noticed anything until around noon when I opened our blinds and saw about four or five police cars and a van.
‘At that time there was only one armed officer, but over the course of the next three or four hours the presence of armed police slowly increased to the point that now there’s between 10 and 20 armed officers here.’
Another wrote that they were locked in their house and another person said police had not let them leave their home.
A spokesperson for West Midlands Police had said: ‘We went to conduct a safe and well check on a man and a child at an address in Earlsdon Avenue North, Coventry, just before 12.20am this morning (January 9).
‘A man inside the property is refusing to come out. Specialist resources have been called and officers remain at the scene this afternoon.
‘The road is sealed off while officers deal with the situation.’
Source: Daily Mail