Oxford city centre reopens after armed siege between gunman and police ends peacefully

Police in Oxford were locked in a stand-off with a gunman (Picture: PA)

An armed siege sparked by reports of a man with a gun in Oxford has ended peacefully, police said.

Thames Valley Police said shots were fired from a property in Paradise Square in the city centre with officers returning fire.

Nearby streets were cordoned off by officers who were called to the scene at around 1.15pm.

Negotiations with the man took place through Monday afternoon into Tuesday morning.

At around 6.30am on Tuesday, the force said the incident has been resolved and that road closures in the area had been lifted.

One person was treated for non-life threatening injuries, paramedics said. Police said a 24-year-old man from Oxford had been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

Several streets were evacuated after shots were fired from a property in Oxford (Picture: PA)

Paradise Square, Paradise Street and part of Norfolk Street in the city had been closed into Tuesday morning following a shootout between police and the armed man.

Officers said all road closures in the area had been lifted.

Previously, members of the public had been warned to avoid the area.


A woman, who asked not to be named, said she was sat on her balcony when she heard loud bangs, shouting and dogs barking on Monday afternoon.

“After a second round it became apparent these were gunshots so I rushed inside,” she said.

“There was a couple more shots, three spurts in total, still a lot of shouting and barking. I heard a man shout ‘show me your hands’ repeatedly.

“The shouting continued and only quieted down an hour later or so, between now and then there have been bursts of shouting, barks and helicopters.

“I’ve heard no more shots since though. The entire area outside my flat is sealed off, and there is a police officer with a dog stationed a few metres from the balcony.”

Janet Borgerson was in the nearby Hotel Malmaison when she heard “explosive cracks” she thought were holiday festivities before another series of “loud bangs”.

“Again, I thought the second round were firecrackers. I noticed hotel bar staff ushering people inside,” she said.

Ms Borgerson, who is visiting the city from the US, said guests were later told they were “perfectly safe” and allowed to leave the hotel by an armed officer who seemed to indicate he was expecting a siege.

Police presence near a property in Oxford where the stand-off took place (Picture: PA)

She said: “Because the shooting was directly behind the hotel block in which my room is, I did feel worried that someone with a larger weapon could be a threat.

“But the police were quickly on sight and after 45 minutes or so inside, and then briefed by police, they seemed to have the shooter isolated.

“To the police after a short time, this was definitely a ‘keep calm and carry on’ moment.”

A nearby resident, who did not want to be named, said he first heard two loud bangs early in the morning, but thought it was just Bank Holiday fireworks.

Later that day, he said he witnessed the start of the altercation between an armed man and the police, during which he heard around 20 shots exchanged.

The armed siege ended peacefully, police said (Picture: PA)

He said: “I was frightened. I saw how easy he got down from his balcony, and I was terrified for a second, thinking he was going to come get me.

“He was shooting from the balcony and then he climbed down the balcony, he was in the gardens and police were kicking the back doors to other gardens trying to get him.

“Then he climbed back up and shot again. And that’s when they shot him in the head I think and in the chest.

“I could hear a female negotiator and an armed response man trying to get him to put his hands up, let go of the gun, keep his hands on show and things like that.”

The resident said he heard a man repeating that he needed medical treatment, before getting “really angry, shouting, roaring at them (the police)”.