Armed police arrested a 69-year-old man after reports that more than 150 gunshots were fired in a residential street.

Firearms officers and dog units from Sussex Police were deployed to Turkey Road, Bexhill, after residents had heard gunshots coming from one of the properties.

Police were called to the area shortly before 3pm yesterday after people had grown alarmed by the sound of gunfire – and cordoned off the road.

Witnesses reported hearing more than 150 shots fired throughout the incident – which police said were fired by a licensed shotgun holder shooting at trees from a garden.

Carey Pritchard, 55, Greenways, said: “I heard several gunshots and went to see where it was coming from after reporting it to the police.

“The police had arrived and were blocking access to the road approaching a house in Turkey Road opposite Clinch Green Avenue.”

Clare Gaster, a neighbouring resident, said she phoned the police after hearing about 50 shots fired.

The 50-year-old said: “The police shut the road and the shots were still being fired as they hung around waiting outside.

“When they went in we heard another two shots being fired.

“When they came back out they brought this little old man with them.”

“In Bexhill nothing happens usually so it was quite exciting”.

Chief Superintendent Paul Morrison said: “We attempted to contact the man, but there were problems with his home telephone, which delayed our efforts to speak to him. However, he eventually emerged from the house and it was quickly established that he was a licensed shotgun holder.

“We are now investigating whether any offences have been committed and if the gun was fired contrary to the licence held, albeit with no malicious intent to cause anyone any harm. We take these matters extremely seriously.

“Those who are entrusted to hold a shotgun must do so responsibly and in circumstances such as this we will always investigate carefully to ensure that any licence holder is suitable to be in that position of trust.”

The 69-year-old man from Bexhill was arrested on suspicion of firearms offences and remained in custody last night.