Tyne & Wear

South Shields man, named locally as James Wilson, shot by police

Police on Frenchman's Way
Image caption Northumbria Police were called to Frenchman's Way at about 01:00 BST

A 24-year-old man is in a critical condition in hospital after being shot by police in South Shields.

Police were called to Frenchman's Way at about 01:00 BST to reports of a man in the street with a handgun.

The man, named locally as James Wilson, was shot once in the chest and taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.

Investigators said a "non-police weapon" had been recovered from the scene.

A witness said she heard Northumbria Police officers shout "put the gun down" before they fired.

The force has referred the incident to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

Image copyright PA
Image caption Police and IPPC investigators have been at the scene since the shooting

A spokesman for the IPCC said: "A 24-year-old man sustained an injury to his chest and is in a critical, but stable condition in the Royal Victoria Infirmary. A non-police weapon has been recovered from the scene.

"Following notification of the incident by Northumbria Police, IPCC investigators travelled to the North East to supervise post incident procedures for the police officers involved as well taking control of the scene of the shooting."

A man who did not give his name said his girlfriend heard police shout "put the gun down", and she heard a bang, which she thought was a firecracker at first.

The man said: "I came out and there were police with guns walking up and down in body armour, like they were securing the area.

"I thought they were looking for a gunman.

"Police were working on the man for about 10 minutes, giving him oxygen. Then they let the ambulance in and after about five minutes they took him to hospital."

Image caption Northumbria Police referred the incident to the IPCC

A Northumbria Police spokesman said: "Armed officers attended and made contact with the man, during which the man was shot by police.

"A section of Frenchman's Way has been cordoned off while inquiries into the incident are carried out."

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