Shotgun fired in Blackburn 'gang clash'

Lancashire Telegraph: Shotgun fired in Blackburn 'gang clash' Shotgun fired in Blackburn 'gang clash'

SHOTS were heard by residents when a violent street clash involving up to 30 men erupted.

Terrified onlookers called police after hearing gun fire in Audley, Blackburn, on Saturday night.

Armed police were called as the force helicopter flew overhead to try to catch the offenders.

Yesterday police recovered a single barrel shotgun near the scene in Kempton Rise, just off Pringle Street.

The suspects are believed to have driven off in a number of vehicles, two of which were later recovered nearby.

A large gang of men, some wearing scarves over their faces, were seen chasing each other in a number of vehicles along Kempton Rise and nearby Whitendale Crescent at around 9.20pm.

Some of the men then got out of the vehicles and attacked the other cars with baseball bats and sticks, neighbours said.

A 20-year-old resident, who watched the incident from her bedroom window, said: “I saw a battered car with smashed in windows driving all over the place.

“Then I just saw a lot of men chasing after it with big sticks in their hands. I heard a screeching noise and a big bang. “It was really scary to see and I was really frightened.

“I just kept wishing that they’d stop and not come near my house.”

Another resident, who did not wish to be named, said he saw ‘bullet holes’ in a car and shots being fired in one man’s direction.

He said: “I could see that they’d shot at him but he got up and tried to run away.

“It was really scary.

“I’d heard loud bangs and I came outside to see what was going on. “I saw a gang of what you can only describe as hooligans, with scarves pulled up over their noses to hide their faces.

“I saw them smashing a black car that had bullet holes in the windscreen. “They had baseball bats in their hands and one of them had a gun.

“I have two children in my house and I was trying to keep them from seeing anything and telling them there was nothing to worry about - trying to play everything down.

“I just can’t understand why people behave like this and I’ve never seen anything like it before.

“They were all chanting and shouting and banging on doors and cars - it was like something that you’d see on a crime show on TV.”

No-one is believed to have been injured and police are not aware of any damage caused by the gun being fired.

Audley ward councillor, Salim Sidat said: “It’s absolutely shocking to hear that there are guns on the street.

“There are families in the area and they should not be made to feel scared in their own homes.

“Everyone in the town should feel safe and not have to worry about the threat of guns.”

A police spokesman said: “A thorough investigation including house to house inquiries and CCTV inquiries is ongoing and we are appealing for witnesses and information.

“The motive for this incident is currently unclear and inquiries are ongoing to try and establish the reason behind the incident.”

Police are appealing for anybody who has any information to contact them on 101 quoting log number 1488 of December 14 or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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