Gunman in standoff with armed police in Surrey, southern England - reports
Carey’s Wood road was closed off and residents were told to stay in their homes. One resident told the Surrey Mirror that a police helicopter was near the scene since 5:30am GMT.
Police say they initially attended the property as part of a pre-planned drug raid.
In a statement, Detective Inspector Paul Burrill said officers were after Paul Hodge, who was believed to be at the property with a suspected firearm.
However, he was not there.
"Following a thorough search of the property with assistance from NPAS and the Surrey Police Dog Unit no-one was located inside the address," Burrill said after armed police were stood down.
Armed police have now stepped down their response in #Smallfield - residents are thanked for their patience - update to follow— Surrey Police (@SurreyPolice) July 28, 2016
Burrill added it was also possible Hodge could have left the house in the course of the operation and it was not "completely clear" what had happened.
@NPAS_Redhill what are you searching for over Smallfield so early in the morning?— Mia Marino (@MiaMarino91) July 28, 2016
helicopter hovering over Smallfield/Outwood since about 0500; still there 09.30 What's going on ?— Carolyn Last (@LastCarolyn) July 28, 2016
Police had been in riot gear, a witness said.
“It’s pretty bad here. There’s a guy in his house with a firearm refusing to get out,” a Smallfield resident who did not want to be named told the newspaper.
“Armed police are surrounding his house and the helicopter has been seen flying over. We can’t get in or out of Carey’s Wood and people can’t get to work. I’m very nervous,” the resident added.
“There’s a heavy police presence there with cars and vans, I’ve also just seen an ambulance go by...enough is enough in this area, there is so much crime and vandalism – this has to stop.”
Pretty sure all of Surrey police are in Smallfield atm🚔🚁— Beth (@Beathyxo) July 28, 2016
A business owner from Smallfield, who also wished to remain anonymous, told the Mirror that he believes the incident began as a drug raid.
“I’ve heard rumours that it started off as a drug raid and I believe the chap in there has got a gun and he is saying ‘I’m a free man of the land.’”
Warrants were also executed at 15 other addresses cross East Surrey as part of the drug investigation called Operation Aragon, with a total of 10 people being arrested as a result.
Police are making inquiries to track down Hodge.