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Man remains in custody after armed police end five-day standoff using ‘flash grenades’

The Independent logo The Independent 14/01/2022 Laurie Churchman
Armed police officers outside the flat in Coventry - PA © PA

Armed police officers outside the flat in Coventry

- PA

A man remains in custody after armed police brought a five-day standoff to an end, reportedly using flash grenades as they forced their way into a flat.

The 41-year-old father was barricaded inside with his eight-year-old son, police said.

He was detained by firearms officers following the siege in Coventry last night.

Neighbours in Earlsdon Avenue North reported hearing bangs, and footage showed firearms officers storming the flat and smashing a window as bursts of light came from a front room.

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The standoff began after a “concern for welfare check” by West Midlands Police.

The boy is believed to be physically unharmed and is being cared for by relatives.

Police say his father is being assessed by mental health professionals.

Neighbour Joe Davoile told the BBC he saw officers “going in with flash grenades and smoke grenades”.

Another witness told the broadcaster she had heard “a lot of bangs” and people nearby “started coughing”.

“It was quite a stressful situation,” she said.

Superintendent Ronan Tyrer said the boy’s safety was a priority, and it had been an “incredibly sensitive and challenging siege”.

“I’m sure everyone in Coventry shares in our relief that we have been able to get him safely out of the house,” he said.

“We had to balance the risk to the boy being kept in the house, with the risk that he could be harmed if we did enter the house.”

Nearby Earlsdon Primary School, closed since Monday, has reopened.

Pupils are back in the classroom after what headteacher Rhona Forde described as a “very unusual week”.

The West Midlands Firearms Operations Unit said its officers had been “heavily involved in bringing this situation to a safe conclusion”.

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