A 47-year-old man is believed to have 'shot himself dead' in a house in South Darenth - just hours after a woman was taken to hospital with stab wounds.

Officers who made attempts to get a man out of a flat in Esparto Way on July 29 have confirmed that they found the body of a man when they entered the building and recovered a gun from the property.

The man's next of kin have been informed.

Armed police swooped on the residential development around 10.30am yesterday morning following reports of an assault.

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A cordon stretching around 200 meters was put in place, leaving residents unable to enter their homes until around 2.30pm when officers made contact with the man involved.

A 45-year-old woman suffering serious thorax injuries was taken to King College Hospital by South East Coast Ambulance crews.

A police spokesman said: "Officers attended Esparato Way after a report that a woman had received knife wounds.

"She was taken to hospital, but her injuries are not considered life-threatening.

"Officers contained an address in the street and upon entering found a deceased man.

"A firearm was recovered. His death is not being treated as suspicious and next of kin have been informed.

"An investigation is underway into the full circumstances."

Concerned residents gathered at the scene.

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Resident Paul Greenlaw, 32, said: "I had no idea what was going on - I heard a the ambulance and police cars pull up and the police were telling us we should stay in.

"Apparent a woman has been attacked, there's loads of rumours flying around."

Darren Jones, 29, also of Esparto Way added: "I just came in from the shop and all this was going on.

"I've heard someone's been stabbed.

"It's normally really quiet round here, nothing like this happens."

An air ambulance was also called to the scene and landed in Heathside Recreation Ground in the village.

Sophie, aged 11, said: "I was on my way back from the park and saw the helicopter land on Heathside but we don't really know what's happened."

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A police investigation is under way into the full circumstances of the incident.