Police cars and the helicopter circled Braintree for hours after members of the public were left fearing for their lives 

A 30-year-old Braintree woman has described her terror after seeing a balaclava-clad man brandishing a gun near the Halifax premises on Monday.

The 30-year-old, her boyfriend and pregnant friend had been talking to friends in a car when they are said to have witnessed a man on a bicycle with the weapon just before 11pm.

In the confusion as they fled for safety in the Swan pub, they are unsure whether or not they also heard gunshots.

An Essex Police spokesman said: “Armed officers attended and carried out an extensive area search, but were unable to locate any suspects."


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