It took all day for police to get inside a southeast London townhouse – and when they did, nobody was home.
It was an uneventful ending to an intense Saturday on Shelborne Street, north of Commissioners Road and between Deveron Crescent and Pond Mills Road, where London police tactical teams, uniformed officers and K-9 units assembled at the townhouse complex behind Paranyde Bar and Grill.
They began to gather there after initial reports at about 2:30 a.m. Saturday that there were gunshots in “an establishment” at Commissioners and Pond Mills roads. There were no injuries, but police confirmed that they found evidence that gun shots had been fired.
London police wouldn’t name the business involved, but as heavily armed police surrounded the townhouse, there were uniformed officers and a forensic police unit at the night club, which is only a five-minute walk from the all-day stand-off.
With a suspected gun involved in the investigation, it was clear the police would be taking every precaution possible.
At one point Saturday afternoon, there were about 20 police vehicles parked near and along the street. Heavily armed emergency response unit officers could be seen moving around the perimeter and a tactical truck was parked right in front of Unit 49. The only distinguishing features of the unit were the red rose bush growing up around the front window and the barbeque parked outside the front door.
“For your safety, we need you to exit now with nothing in your hands,” the police loudspeaker blared. “We’re not going anywhere.”
London police said little as the drama unfolded. At the standoff scene, London police spokesperson Const. Gavn Dell said police were asking the public to stay away from the area and for anyone who might have information or video from the gun incident to come forward.
And he confirmed that the night club gunshots and the townhouse standoff were connected.
There was little progress all morning. The police told “Ryan,” the person they believed was inside the townhouse, that they would be getting a search warrant to come into the residence.
The warrant showed up at about 1:30 p.m. and the police activity intensified. While some residents had been asked to leave their units when the standoff started, for the most part people were able to move freely in the area, except near the townhouse, until the warrant arrived.
Once the paperwork was on-scene, people were moved back from the area. The police loudspeaker indicated that the person was going to be charged with unauthorized possession of a firearm.
That level of high alert remained in place for a couple of hours. Sounds of a police battering ram hitting the front door could be heard from the street. But then, there was nothing. Curious neighbours who had been asked to keep their distance were soon allowed to move closer.
And no one came out of the house.
By 4:30 p.m., emergency response unit members began packing up their gear. A fire truck arrived with fans to air out the townhouse unit.
And word came that the police had finally gotten inside and no one was there.
Police are expected to be releasing more information later.