‘Devastated’ mum says sorry for armed siege in Bishop Cuthbert estate

THE mum of a schoolboy who sparked an armed siege today said sorry for the shame and embarrassment he and his friends caused.

A fleet of seven vehicles from Cleveland Police – including the force’s dog section and the armed officers – rushed to the scene and roads on the estate were closed after the incident was reported by a neighbour around 11.15am yesterday.

Armed police at an incident in Larkspur Close, Hartlepool.

Armed police at an incident in Larkspur Close, Hartlepool.

Mum-of-two Jill Kiernan, a nurse, was at work at the time, while English Martyrs School pupil Cole and his pals were at home with his dad, Sean Kiernan.

Mrs Kiernan said that, while Sean was downstairs, the boys, who had all been sleeping over, came across the unloaded airgun, which the family had last used about three years ago on camping trips, to play games of ‘shooting the bottle off the wall’.

The boys then started to point it out of a window.

Jill told the Mail: “There is no way that the boys knew what the consequences of their actions would be.

I was so angry and close to tears but what else can you do? The neighbour totally did the right thing in phoning the police.

Jill Kiernan

“They all feel terribly ashamed and are all traumatised by what happened.

“We’ve lived here for 12 years and our kids have never caused any trouble.

“It was embarrassing and it was awful coming into the street and seeing all of the police there.

“We’re all devastated and all of the kids are in shock. All of the parents of the boys feel the same.

ARMED POLICE: Officers attend the incident in Larkspur Close, Hartlepool.

ARMED POLICE: Officers attend the incident in Larkspur Close, Hartlepool.

“No harm was ever meant by this, the kids have just not realised.

“I was so angry and close to tears but what else can you do? The neighbour totally did the right thing in phoning the police.”

Once Sean, Cole, and his friends came out of the house, police sent in a sniffer dog.

Police confirmed the air weapon was found.

Armed police at an incident in Larkspur Close, Hartlepool.

Armed police at an incident in Larkspur Close, Hartlepool.

No one was arrested and officers started to stand down from the scene at around 12.55pm.

A spokeswoman for Cleveland Police said: “Following reports of a group firing something out of a window at a house in Larkspur Close, in Hartlepool, armed response officers attended, as is routine when a weapon is mentioned. Dog section officers were also present.

“A man and four boys came out of the house and the address was thoroughly searched.

“They found what is now confirmed as an air weapon and the man was given strong words of advice.”

She added: “There were no reported injuries to anyone inside or outside the address.”

One eyewitness told the Mail: “Officers went into search the house with a police sniffer dog. There were other officers surrounding the house with guns.

Armed police at an incident in Larkspur Close, Hartlepool.

Armed police at an incident in Larkspur Close, Hartlepool.

“It’s a detached house where it all happened, and the rest of the close is really quiet.”

Another man who witnessed the scene said: “I couldn’t believe it when I drove past and saw the armed police vehicle and officers with machine guns.

“It’s usually really quiet up here.

“It was like something you see on the TV.”

Armed police at an incident in Larkspur Close, Hartlepool.

Armed police at an incident in Larkspur Close, Hartlepool.