As police scoured the grounds of a mock Tudor mansion in picturesque Roman Road yesterday there was a sense of fear in the nearby community.
The 'shield' that people in these parts feel they have against gun crime because of their distance from the inner cities was shattered when a volley of shots was fired at a mansion late on Tuesday evening.
Residents were also concerned at the sight of smashed windscreens on a sports car, a Renault saloon and a 4x4 on the drive of the house.
The family who live in the mansions were put under police protection as teams of officers, sniffer dogs and helicopters descended on Little Aston and created more uncertainty for the local population. Among the residents living nearby was 43-year-old Robina Awn, who said she spent the night attempting to calm her 15-year-old daughter.
"At 3am it was like a war-zone around here," said Mrs Awn, still visibly upset at the scene of detectives sweeping the driveways of mansions on the tree-lined road.
"My daughter was so scared. She thought it was like Iraq because the area was like a war-zone. This sort of thing has never happened around here before. But I have noticed a few suspicious things in recent weeks."
Mrs Awn said the Asian residents of the house had recently held a party or wedding, which attracted many guests.
She said she noticed a number of "strange" men walking through the leafy neighbourhood in recent days, but was shocked when she heard that a volley of gunshots was fired at a luxury mansion.
Another neighbour Francis Moore, from nearby Elway mansion, said she heard the shots just before midnight.
"My husband said he thought he heard a car leave the scene after the shots," the 66-year-old said. "This is not the sort of area you expect to be woken up in the night because of gunshots."
Residents who were passing near the house which was targeted by the gunmen said the community was not close-knit.
"I know my next-door neighbour but I do not know anyone else," said Roman Road resident Jill Aston. "We are all very secluded. But we have had another incident here in recent months - another shooting. It is quite frightening. Most people who live around here are from the older generation."
A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: "The family from that address have now been moved to a safe location while police conduct a forensic search and examination in the vicinity of the address.
"Police are now conducting a thorough examination including establishing a motive for the incident."
It is the second time this year that the community has been troubled by the spectre of armed incidents.
In March, a 35-year-old man was ambushed outside the Hardwick Arms pub, in Streetly, little more that half a mile from the scene of this latest shooting.
On that occasion a 35-year-old man was shot four times on the car park of the pub, packed with around 100 drinkers enjoying a quiz night.
At the time, local politicians said the shooting had stunned the elderly and prosperous community.