Replica guns found in 'armed man' hunt

Published Tuesday, 04 June 2013
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Police have recovered three suspected replica guns from a Belfast city centre building, after an armed man was reported in the area.

Replica guns found in 'armed man' hunt
An armed response team searched the building. (© Pacemaker)

Police rapid response teams sealed off part of Donegall Street following reports that a man, wrapped in a sheet and a tea towel, had been spotted pointing a suspected firearm from a window.

There was a heavy police presence at the scene as armed response officers searched the SHAC building opposite St Anne's Cathedral.

An eyewitness told UTV: "My friend and I stepped out of the elevator to come out of the SHAC building on Donegall Street - straight into an armed response officer with a riot shield and another standing behind him with a rifle.

"Everyone was searched and details taken for police checks."

We were told to quickly leave the building and get off the street as quickly as possible.


Police recovered three suspected replica firearms from a room.

"An investigation is now underway to identify and apprehend anyone involved," a PSNI spokesperson said.

Donegall Street has since reopened.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Jonny in Belfast wrote (603 days ago):
To the Larne person - I feel so sorry for you having to wait on a bus like that. It must have been terrible. I couldn't get into my own flat for hours. And to Paul in Belfast - they use 'suspected' until forensics have confirmed that it is a working firearm. It's their procedure with any arms find.
OldSod in Fermanagh wrote (603 days ago):
Paul in Belfast, if they said they are replica guns without the actual verification by a qualified armorer,... then they could prejudice the subsequent trial, especially if it is revealed they have been converted to fire live rounds, or they are actual firearms designed to look like replicas or vice verse. Its not that hard to understand that while most police officers would probably know with some certainty the difference between most replicas and an actual working firearm, it has to be verified in evidence by an expert to keep everything legally above board and on record.
BOB in belfast wrote (603 days ago):
"suspected replica guns " thinking this was not a PSNI quote but more likely ' UTV PRESS ' they havnt got a clue. you cant get the staff these days....typical UTV.Their classic is their distinction between ' Loyalist thugs ' and ' Nationalist youths'
anonymous in belfast wrote (603 days ago):
Person jumping thinking this was to do with the G8. This was no actual terrorist operation but merely a messy morning after a student party. The person with the "firearm" voluntarily stepped into police custody yesterday. So it would be much appreciated if you quit your moaning. An interviewwith UTV may even be organised via myself.
Danny in Ulster wrote (603 days ago):
Paul in Belfast - maybe you could volunteer to walk up close to the next man waving a "suspected replica gun" from a window to see if it real or not? Bear in mind a man has recently been convicted in Newry of re-activating de-activated firearms for dissident republicans, and you can't tell unless you disassemble the weapon if that is the case or not.It would be extremely foolish to just assume it is a repilica gun and police officers are not going to take chances in the current climate, especially as it could be a staged "come on" in order to mount a terrorist attack on an officer.
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