Siege on NSW north coast ends with 'no people' found inside house

A siege on the NSW north coast near Coffs Harbour has ended with "no people" found inside the surrounded home.

The Tactical Response Group, police negotiators and local officers had been at the scene in Toormina since 2.10pm this afternoon on reports a gunman was inside a home.

Police entered the premises around 7.30pm but it was empty.

It was thought the man inside was prison escapee Marcus Buchanan.

Marcus Buchanan escaped from Glen Innes in October. Photo: NSW Police.
Marcus Buchanan escaped from Glen Innes in October. Photo: NSW Police.

However, NSW Police said there was noone found inside the house at the conclusion of the operation.

"A full search of the property was conducted, however no people were found inside," police said in a statement.

"An investigation into the matter is now underway," the statement said, adding "No further information is available at this stage."

Police have surrounded the property on Lowery Street.
Police have surrounded the property on Lowery Street.

A Police Media Unit spokesperson would not confirm if the 33-year-old Buchanan had possibly escaped from the surrounded property or if he had ever been inside at all.

They could not confirm the total number of officers at the scene.

Earlier today a nearby Mary Help of Christians Primary School went into lockdown and was later evacuated in response to reports of a man with a gun in the area.

Tactical units are at the scene.
Tactical units are at the scene.

Parents were notified to pick their children up at an alternative area and all students left the grounds safely.

The Glen Innes escapee has a lengthy criminal history and police earlier warned he should not be approached.

Buchanan was serving a one year sentence for an assault.

He fled the scene and has remained on the run from police since last October.

Corrective services has not confirmed whether Buchanan has been taken into custody.

A similar incident occurred last week the area around Nimbin Place in Coffs Harbour including St Augustine's Primary School went into lockdown.

Anyone with relevant information is urged to call Coffs Harbour Police on 02 6691 0799 or Crime Stoppers 1300 333 000

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