A gunman brought the quiet market town of Upton-upon-Severn to a standstill yesterday after barricading himself into a pub with a shotgun.
The man was involved in a stand off with armed police for six hours at the riverside King's Head pub, High Street.
Customers at the pub fled when he entered with the gun at about 2pm.
Armed police, dog handlers, police negotiators and ambulances were called to the scene and placed a 50-yard cordon around it.
The gunman, believed to be a local former tyre-fitter aged about 30, was believed to have been involved in a dispute with his girlfriend who worked at the pub.
David Yates, a 43-year-old designer at work in a building 50 yards from the pub, watched as the drama unfolded.
"He went in with the gun and the owner of the pub came out to call the police, then went in again to talk to him because I think he knew him," he said.
"When the gunman came out of the building he had the gun in his mouth, but was quite contorted, sort of bending down trying to keep his thumb on the trigger. On one of the occasions, he went to his car to get cartridges for the gun. He did say on one occasion: 'I'm not going to hurt anybody else, it's going to be me.' But it was a bit tense because at one point he went into the pub and six gun shots were heard from inside."
Police talked to the man through the window of the pub and, keeping behind a shield, placed a mobile phone on top of a nearby car for him to correspond with them.
"At one point he walked down the street and police said if he didn't return they would shoot him, so he turned back," said Mr Yates.
The gunman was arrested at about 8pm when he came to the door of the pub and was persuaded to put the gun down, reportedly in exchange for a talk with his girlfriend.
Meanwhile, workers in nearby businesses, shops, hotels and pubs were forced to remain locked indoors throughout the afternoon for their own safety.
Justin Lagar, licensee of The Plough which stands about ten yards from the King's Head, said he and his family were locked in for five hours.
"I saw all of these customers running outside and I thought it was a bit strange, I thought it was a fire," he said. "My step-father-in-law came to the door and I hauled him in."
A spokeswoman for West Mercia Police said: "There were no other people in the pub with the man who made no threats to any other people.
"Officers responded quickly, arriving at the scene within four minutes of the call made by a member of the public. The first police to arrive at the scene cleared the area quickly and effectively.
"Premises close to the pub were evacuated by police to ensure the safety of members of the public."