Terrified locals call police mistaking pest control shooting for gang warfare

Terrified locals in a gun crime-ridden area called police after hearing gunshots this weekend, fearing another gang war had broken out.

Armed officers rushed to Gilmerton, Edinburgh following reports of gunfire at around 8.30am last Sunday (July 17).

However, when they swooped into the area they discovered the shots were actually from a local landowner carrying out some "pest control".

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The south of Edinburgh has been ravaged by shootings in recent years, including one in 2006 when boxing champion Alex McKinnon was killed in a pub.

In August last year, police said shots were "indiscriminately" fired towards a property in Burdiehouse. Luckily the two young children, a man and a woman inside were not injured, reports the Daily Record.

Talking about Sunday’s incident, a local resident said: "The guns could be heard clearly early in the morning. My daughter got concerned and was worried it was another shooting.

"The area has been plagued with shootings for years and maniacs with guns taking potshots at houses. The landowner should be notifying residents when he is doing these pest control shoots."

He added that residents are already fearing the area is being dragged down again by feuding gangs fighting over drugs and territory.

The man added: "So waking up to gunfire in an area known for gun-carrying thugs is not ideal. It would be nice to be forewarned it’s happening."

Jill Henderson, who owns a dog walking business and lives in the area, warned others via Facebook of the gunshots said: "I live locally and heard the gunshots going off.

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"The last thing you want to do is get woken up at 8:30 on a Sunday morning with gunshots going off. It wasn’t just a couple that stopped for ages then started again, it was constant and it continued until 5pm that evening."

A spokeswoman for Police Scotland said: "We received a call around 9.25am on Sunday. Armed officers attended because they were in the area, they weren’t deployed. Local officers arrived and confirmed all was in order."

Pest control shoots – which allow farmers to shoot birds causing damage to their crops – are not illegal in Scotland.

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