Police marksmen shoot gunman dead after village siege

A MAN was shot dead by police after shooting one officer and then continuing to fire from a house during a seven-hour siege.

Alistair Bell, 42, was shot by police marksmen at his home in the West Yorkshire village of Kirkheaton, near Huddersfield.

The incident began when police arrived at Mr Bell's home in Cockley Hill Lane at about 10pm on Monday to arrest him. Police said he shot one unarmed male officer on the doorstep.

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The Pc was taken to hospital with minor injuries. Mr Bell then moved back into the end-terrace house and continued to fire throughout the night.

Nearby residents said the incident ended at 5:30am when they heard one shot followed a moment later by three louder shots in quick succession.

People living in the area, which remained cordoned off last night, said they were shocked at such violence in a quiet village. Others said Mr Bell was well-known to the police and had a history of criminal behaviour and drug-taking.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is now investigating.

Eyewitness Mark Blezzard, 30, who lives opposite, said he heard about eight or nine shots as he followed the incident throughout the night.

He said: "The police then just told us to stay inside but I could see what was going on opposite.

"Loads of police turned up – some carrying machine guns. They lit the house up like a Christmas tree and the armed police were behind hedges."

Another resident, Andrew Cousins, said: "At first we thought it was fireworks. Then we heard the police saying 'drop your weapon and come out with your hands up'."

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Mr Cousins said the police told Bell: "Come out with your hands up. Put your gun on the floor and nobody will get hurt."

Locals said Mr Bell had lived in the village all his life and his parents also lived nearby.

They said he was "well-known to the police" and had served a number of jail terms, including one sentence of about seven years. They added he lived alone with his pit bull-type dog and they could not remember him having a job.

They said he lived alone with his pit-bull type dog and they could not remember him having a job.

Margaret Ainley, who lives on the street, said: "His car has been abandoned in a field nearby, I've no idea what it's doing there."

Mr Bell's friend Shane Livingstone said: "He was a good bloke - a very good bloke."

Mr Livingstone, who lives a few hundred yards from Mr Bell's house, said they went to school together in Almondbury, Huddersfield.

A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said: "We regret that the incident at the house did not conclude peacefully as we had hoped and can confirm that the man taken to hospital from the address has now died."

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Police said they had tried to resolve the situation peacefully although shots were "continually" fired at officers.

Officers initially attended the address to arrest Mr Bell on suspicion of making threats towards another man at a nearby property earlier in the day, the spokesman added.

A spokesman for the Independent Police Complaints Commission said: "Investigators have been deployed to the scene."But Mr Bell's friend Shane Livingstone said: "He was a good bloke – a very good bloke."

A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said: "We regret that the incident at the house did not conclude peacefully as we had hoped and can confirm that the man taken to hospital from the address has now died."

Officers initially attended the address to arrest Mr Bell on suspicion of making threats towards another man at a nearby property earlier in the day, the spokesman added.