Police were called to Manor Fields Park, off City Road, close to the crematorium, at 5.06am today, prompting a major response – the latest police incident at a local beauty spot which has seen gun crime in the past. There is no suggestion the latest incident involves guns.
This morning, shocked residents were watching on, wondering what had happened.
By 7.30am, 11 police cars could be counted along CIty Road, in addition to three police vans, including a scene of crime investigation van. Another police car was parked within the main cordon, in a sealed-off car park.
Police tape extended from the Select and Save supermarket, past the park, and ended just past the York House community building, which is run by Manor Castle Development Trust and Green Estate.
Within the cordon, zigzags of blue and while police tape appeared close to the children’s play area.
A few yards beyond, a grassy path was taped off, guarded by a solitary police officer.
At least a dozen officers were present at the scene. Among the personnel, a scenes of crime officer could be seen, clad in white overalls.
Most were gathered in a group next to the main entrance to the park.
Traffic continued as normal along the main road. School children walked past the scene in their uniforms, turning their heads to see what was going on.
Nearby residents knew little of what had happened.
One said he had woken at around 5am, having heard a screech of tyres. He said by the time he was up at 6.55am there was already police tape being put in place, adding that nothing had appeared wrong the previous night.
"All I heard was the foxes, round the back,” he said.
Another couple said they had woken up and looked out of the window to see a massive police presence.
The woman said: “I didn’t hear anything, but there is always something going on in the park. There’s a running club there every Saturday morning.
"You get the odd incident there, but it’s been quiet for a long time.
"A lot of people go there for picnics though. We think it’s a nice walk around there. You get a lot of children there in the park – it’s quite popular.”
The man added: “There was an incident there about 18 months ago when there was a shooting there. It is worrying to see that many police there when you first wake up. The first thing I said when I saw them was ‘not again’.
Back in August 2020, a man was arrested after armed police responded to reports of a man with a firearm in the park. Officers fired a plastic baton round during the incident.
The park was also the scene of a fatal shooting in 2014. Three people were later jailed at Sheffield Crown Court for the killing.
Members of the public were today being urged to avoid the area.
Anyone with information is asked to call South Yorkshire Police on 101, quoting incident number 122 of May 12.