A man carrying a gun and a large hunting knife was arrested this morning inside the St Nicholas Centre.

Firearms officers swooped on the man, believed to be aged about 50, after receiving concerned calls from members of the public that they had seen a man carrying a firearm in the town centre.

A man, believed to be aged about 50, was arrested just inside the St Nicholas Centre this morning for possession of a firearm and a large hunting knife.

Police received the first call at 9.45am.

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The spot where the man was arrested

He was first seen carrying the gun in a carrier bag in Cash Converters in Sutton High Street. He was also seen sitting on a bench in the high street before heading into the Virgin Phone Shop.

It is then he went into the St Nicholas Centre where firearms officers detained him just inside.

He was pinned to the ground and disarmed while he was arrested. 

A police spokesman said the suspect was observed and tracked by plain clothes officers and by operators using CCTV in the control room at Sutton Police station before being detained by officers from the Met's armed response unit.

The man has been taken to a South London police station.

Workers shocked by 'calm' and 'placid' gun man

Colin White, who runs St Nicholas Centre concession Vapeshifters, said: “It suddenly became apparent something was happening.

"There were police with machine guns, which was a bit odd. 

"There were a lot of plain clothes police and the armed response unit. There were so many people it was hard to see what was happening. At first I couldn’t tell who they were arresting but then I saw the guy in cuffs.

“They took a hand gun off him and a knife. It was very exciting.

“He was gaunt-looking and had a grey shaven hair.

“It all happened very quickly and there wasn’t much shouting or anything. He seemed quite calm and collected.”

A worker at a jewellers said: “He had a gun, a knife and some nunchucks. He also had some Swarovski boxes, I’m not sure what they were from.

“It was quite weird. He was very calm, very placid. We didn’t see him come in. I’m a bit worried he was coming here.”

A shopper who asked not to be named said: “It was very strange. He had something odd about him. He didn’t seem to be troubled by it at all.

"Police came out of nowhere and it all happened so quickly. He didn’t resist them and they pushed him to the ground. He didn’t say anything.”

Virgin Mobile phone shop worker Zak Miah said: “He was fine when he came in here. He was actually quite bubbly, a nice guy very polite.

“He was a customer, just a normal customer. He came in the other day to go through some things and came back in today.

“I didn’t know he had a knife or anything until the police came in and told us afterwards.”

Did you see what happened? Did you take any pictures or video? Contact the newsdesk on 020 8722 6356 or email mike.pyle@london.newsquest.co.uk