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Man shot by police in domestic incident

A man was shot by police after threatening a woman with a gun, a force spokeswoman said today.

Firearms officers were scrambled to the address in Copthorne, West Sussex, last night after receiving reports of an armed man.

At 10.55pm, the officers fired at the man who was injured in the hand and taken to hospital.

A Sussex Police spokeswoman said: "At 10pm last night, police were called to a house in Borers Arms Road, Copthorne, where it was reported that there was a man, believed to be armed, threatening a woman inside.

"Firearms officers were deployed to the scene and police negotiated with the two occupants.

"A firearm was discharged by police at 10.55pm and a man, in his 50s, received an injury to his hand.

"Officers gave him first aid before he was treated at the New East Surrey Hospital in Redhill, where he is assisting police with their inquiries.

"A woman was led safely from the house.

"Firearms have been found in the house and their viability and type are yet to be ascertained."

The spokeswoman added that the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) had been notified.

Sources said that investigators were treating it as a domestic incident.

Two police officers stood guard at a cordon as villagers spoke of their shock at the shooting.

Some residents told of hearing two loud bangs late last night but thought they were fireworks being let off.

One woman, who declined to be named, said: "I just presumed someone was having a fireworks party or something.

"Maybe these two bangs I heard were shots but I couldn't be sure. It's usually a quiet, sleepy village. These things just don't happen round here."

"The most serious recent incident was a hit and run crash where an elderly woman was killed. It's not the place for gun crime, though."

An IPCC spokesman said: "We have had an investigator in Sussex overnight assessing the available evidence before we make a decision on the best way to progress."