Shooting in Plymouth, United Kingdom has resulted in a number of fatalities

A "serious firearms incident" has left numerous people dead in the English town but authorities have confirmed that the attack is not thought to be terror-related.

Shooting in Plymouth, United Kingdom has resulted in a number of fatalities
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Local authorities have confirmed that a number of people have died following a “serious firearms incident” on Thursday evening, in the town of Plymouth in southwest England.

It is thought that a single gunman was involved in the shocking attack but the incident is not currently being treated as terrorist incident. Local reporters have since confirmed that the suspect was killed when officers arrived on the scene.

A brief statement from Devon and Cornwall Police read: "Police were called to a serious firearms incident in Biddick Drive, in the Keyham area of Plymouth at around 6:10 p.m. today. Officers and ambulance staff attended. There have been a number of fatalities at the scene and several other casualties are receiving treatment. A critical incident has been declared."

Eyewitnesses describe “horrendous” scene

Gun-related homicides are fairly rare in the United Kingdom, where private gun ownership is largely outlawed and tough firearms restrictions were introduced as a result of a 1996 mass shooting. The small coastal town of Plymouth was stunned by the violence that unfolded on Thursday evening and eyewitnesses have spoken of their extreme shock.

Speaking to the BBC, one local woman who lives nears to Biddick Drive explained that she had heard “shouting, followed by gunshots - three possibly four to begin with.”

She continued: "This was when the shooter kicked in the door of a house and randomly started shooting ... He ran from the house shooting as he ran and proceeded to shoot at a few people in the Linear Park up from the drive."

One witness, Robert Pinkerton, describes walking around the corner to see the gunman dressed all in black, saying he nearly "bumped into a bloke with a shotgun".

Authorities react to "a very grim day”

In the immediate aftermath of the attack a number of local figures and politicians took to social media to request that those in the area stay at home. Footage shows at least two police helicopters landing in the immediate vicinity of the incident and there a considerable police presence will remain on the scene for the rest of the night.

UK home secretary Priti Patel tweeted: "The incident in Plymouth is shocking and my thoughts are with those affected.”

"I urge everyone to remain calm, follow police advice and allow our emergency services to get on with their jobs."

Johnny Mercer, the Member of Parliament for Plymouth Moor View, confirmed that the incident was “not terror related” and added that the suspected gunman was “not on the run.”