Armed siege: Stand-off between armed police and pensioner enters third day

A THREE-DAY stand-off between armed police and a terminally ill pensioner has ended in his arrest.

Police said the 72-year-old, named locally as Terry Bridger, who was believed to have a gun, was arrested at his seaside home in Harbour Road, Pagham, West Sussex, at around 9am today.

Cops had swooped on the house in Pagham, West Sussex, at 4.10pm on Sunday after receiving reports of "threatening behaviour".

Bridger, who is terminally ill with cancer, spent two nights holed up in his home and threatened to set fire to the house. A woman, believed to be his wife Dawn, was in the house with him but was released uninjured on Sunday night.

At around 8:42am this morning, he told police he was leaving the property and left – closing the door behind him.

He was then arrested on suspicion of threats to kill and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, but escorted to hospital in a convoy with two ambulances.

Neighbours watched from the police cordon as Bridger finally emerged after almost 40 hours.

One said: "His wife came up first thing to wave at him through the window.

"I think he wanted to see her – that was one of the conditions of him coming out.

"It's quite an unusual thing to happen around here.

"But everyone is just glad it's over and he's alright."

The siege was sparked after police raced to the OAP's home to reports he was using threatening behaviour and was armed.

A woman, believed to be his wife Dawn, was reportedly taken hostage for a short time before being freed.

Police warned people living in Harbour Road, Pagham to stay indoors as they sealed off the road and specialised trained negotiators were called in.

Caroline Young, a mum living just beyond the police cordon, told how her eight-year-old son was having trouble sleeping because of the "man with a gun down the road".

The 42-year-old said: "We came down yesterday because my mum lives here – she's lived here her whole life.

"We heard about it in the morning but we thought it would all be done and dusted by the time we got here.

"So it was a bit of a shock to see all the police cars and what-not camped outside."



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She continued: "It's been slightly surreal.

"There's rumours flying around about his health and he might be terminally ill – it's just so sad.

"I heard he recently had a medication change and reacted badly to it – but that's just a rumour. Who knows.

"My son had to get in my bed last night – he was scared of the 'man with the gun'."

Another neighbour suggested that the gunman was terminally ill, adding: "He's definitely not a well man."

Sussex Police, who had cordoned off the property and closed the road, said earlier that negotiators were making contact with the man.

Neighbour Josephine Aslett, 64, said: "It's quite scary, really. I've lived here for 30 years and this is so unusual to happen on this street.

"It's a lovely part of the world, right on the beach.
"We've got a zero per cent crime rate around here. It doesn't make sense."

Edward Holley, a neighbour in his 80s, said he was glad it was over, but was disappointed with the police for not resolving it quicker.

He said: "It's all very sad, and he's obviously unwell, but how much has this cost us. It must be millions.

"He was threatening people with a gun, for Christ's sake.

"If he wasn't an elderly man, the police would have dealt with this is under an hour."

The siege started on Sunday and continued through the Bank HolidayCredit: UK News in Pictures

Acting Assistant Chief Constable Steve Whitton said: "This was a long, complex and challenging negotiation, but I am delighted to say that it has ended peacefully and safely as this was always our absolute priority.

"I also pay tribute to all the police officers and staff involved for their professionalism and determination to resolve this safely.

"It has resulted in considerable disruption for residents in the area and I would like to thank them for their patience and understanding as we have strived to bring this to a safe conclusion for everyone involved.

"I would also like to thank our colleagues from the fire and ambulance services who have waited patiently in support of the operation.

"There will be a police presence at the house for a while, but most of the officers involved are now being stood down."

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