Officials have evacuated an area, including residential buildings, in central Oxford amid reports of gunfire, with Thames Valley Police already shutting down the nearby Paradise Street and Castle Street. According to reports, there were reports of at least five gunshots being heard in the area. In light of the news, both police and local emergency services have issued updates on the ongoing story on social media.
TVP Oxford issued the following statement on Twitter:
“Due to an ongoing Police incident in paradise square, oxford, please avoid the area. PS 3833 Astley”
South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust also issued the following statement that they were working with local police over the incident on their own Twitter account:
“We are [currently] supporting @TVP_Oxford at a police incident in Paradise Square. One patient is currently being assessed & treated for non-life threatening injuries. Please follow @ThamesVP for further information.”
On social media, local bus companies confirmed they would be unable to help the area; on Twitter, the Oxford Bus Company issued the following statement:
“Due to the closure of Castle Street we are currently unable to serve Castle Street and Westgate stops. Thank you for your patience during this time.”
On their Twitter account, Stagecoach Oxford issued a similar statement:
“SERVICE UPDATE: Castle Street, Oxford is closed & we’re unable to serve stops on Castle Street or the Westgate. Our apologies for the inconvenience.”
First-hand accounts of the incident
According to Oxford Mail, one witness, identified as being a Paradise Square resident, gave the following account, confirming that they heard at least five gunshots around the time before officials arrived at the scene:
“I heard about five gunshots and there was an armed response.”
“Flats have been evacuated and police were trying to talk someone down from their balcony. Police told me to stay in my house.”
On social media, another person, identified as “Janet,” said that shooting possibly occurred around the area of Oxford Castle on Twitter:
“@BBCOxford Shooting behind Oxford Castle. Helicopters hovering. Asked to remain in hotel room. #oxford #gunshots”
As this story is developing, more information will be updated as made available.