Fortunate no-one suffered life-threatening injuries in crossbow incident: police

Police said it was “very fortunate” no-one suffered life-threatening injuries after an officer was shot in the leg with a crossbow following reports of a stabbing in a Buckinghamshire village.

Thames Valley Police officers attended School Close in Downley, High Wycombe, at around 6pm on Friday after a man in his 60s suffered a stab wound.

On Saturday afternoon, police said the man had been released from hospital and praised the “incredible bravery” shown by the officers who confronted the armed offender.

Assistant Chief Constable Tim Metcalfe said one of the officers in attendance was shot in the leg with a crossbow and was taken to hospital, but has since been released and is in “good spirits, given the circumstances”.

A 54-year-old man from High Wycombe has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

High Wycombe incident
Police and forensic investigators at the scene in High Wycombe (Sam Hall/PA)

He has been taken to hospital under police supervision with potentially life-changing injuries after he was shot by an armed police officer.

In a statement to the media from the scene on Saturday afternoon, Mr Metcalfe said: “First and foremost, our thoughts are with all those affected by this distressing incident. The assault victim and his family, our own officers and staff and the wider community.

“The man in his 60s who suffered a stab wound has been discharged from hospital.

“The injured police officer who was shot with a crossbow bolt is based in High Wycombe police station. He was discharged from hospital last night and we are supporting him.

“The 54-year-old man arrested on suspicion of attempted murder remains in hospital under police supervision in a critical condition with serious, potentially life-changing injuries.

“It is very fortunate that no-one suffered life-threatening injuries.

“We were able to bring the incident to a swift conclusion, with all victims being treated following a rapid response by South Central Ambulance Service.”

Mr Metcalfe praised the “incredible bravery” of the officers who responded to the incident, adding: “We are giving all the support we can to the officer who was injured during the incident.”

Buckinghamshire commander Chief Superintendent Emma Burroughs said the incident was “hugely challenging and unsettling” for the local community.

She continued: “We do not underestimate the impact it has had on the community so we are doing all we can to support people, such as the patrols in the area over the coming day and engagement with stakeholders such as councillors, the MP and our independent advisory group.”

A large police cordon remains in place at the scene and the incident is being investigated as an “absolute priority”, Chief Supt Burroughs said.

High Wycombe incident
Officers are not looking for anyone else in relation to the incident (Sam Hall/PA)

She confirmed police were not looking for anyone else in relation to the incident, and urged anyone with information to get in touch.

The force has made a mandatory referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct over the incident.

A police presence was visible in School Close on Saturday with forensic investigators taking photographs of the scene and a police cordon blocking the end of the street.

A local resident said witnessing the incident on Friday was like “working in a movie”, adding that “15 to 20 police cars” had attended the scene.

Andy Gupta, 49, told the PA news agency: “We saw three or four armed police through our window. That’s when we realised there was something serious going on.

“For the first time in my life, I felt like I was working in a movie.

“There were 15 to 20 police cars, armed police, three or four ambulances, and two critical care units.

“It was worrying – I’ve got family here. I know that kids play over there and my mate’s kids are there so I was worried about them as well.”

Mr Gupta’s 13-year-old daughter, who was studying at the time of the incident, added: “I saw a man coming out of a house and it looked like he had been stabbed in the stomach.

“And then the police officers came and said: ‘Don’t stand outside, don’t come outside, it’s dangerous.’

“They kept them all inside. And then armed police came and I heard two gunshots.

“We were shocked – we didn’t think it would happen in such a quiet area.”

Another local resident in Downley said she was “shocked” by the incident.

The woman, who did not wish to be named, told PA: “It’s not the sort of thing we expect to happen in our village.

“I was quite shocked. Another knife crime is a bit much, especially when it’s so close to home.”