Tributes to ‘lovely’ woman, 36, gunned down during ‘hostage’ saga in Dartford as cops launch murder probe

TRIBUTES have been paid to a “lovely” women who was gunned down during a suspected hostage saga.

Horror unfolded on Priory Road, Dartford, Kent, on Saturday around 12.40pm when cops and armed officers scrambled to an address following a disturbance.

A woman has died following a suspected hostage saga


A woman has died following a suspected hostage sagaCredit: UkNewsinPictures
Cops have now launched a murder probe


Cops have now launched a murder probeCredit: UkNewsinPictures
Horror unfolded on Priory Road, Dartford, on Saturday


Horror unfolded on Priory Road, Dartford, on SaturdayCredit: UkNewsinPictures

After an hour-long stand-off with a man inside the property, officers smashed through the front door after reports a woman was being held hostage.

Neighbours described how “pandemonium” erupted on the residential street as two rounds of gunshots were let off during the “chilling” incident.

A man, 29, was taken to hospital with serious injuries after suffering a gunshot wound at the scene. He is being treated as the suspect.

The woman, 36, also suffered injuries believed to be caused by a handgun – she has since tragically died.

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The victim, who has been named on floral tributes as Hayley, passed away in hospital on Monday afternoon.

Cops have now launched a murder probe as residents pay tribute to Hayley.

One local, who didn’t want to be named, said she was a “bubbly and lovely girl” with two young kids.

They said: “It’s an awful thing. We’ve been neighbours for a couple of years.

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“She was lovely, really bubbly and lovely girl. Always nice.”

The resident told how multiple ambulances arrived after what they believe was a double shooting.

They added: “Saturday we could see something going on in the garden. They tried for hours to talk him down, it was ages and ages.

“Three or four ambulances came. They tried for three or four hours to save her before taking her away.

“We think he shot her and then shot himself, we don’t know for sure but we think that’s what happened.

“We didn’t hear anything but we could see them in the garden. She was trying to fend him off. But we didn’t hear any voices.

“He came across as not a bad guy to be honest with you. They had history but why something kicked off I don’t know.

“We left flowers as we wanted to pay tribute to her. She was a lovely girl.”

A large police presence remained at the scene today.

Flowers have been left outside the home by those who knew Hayley.

Another neighbour said: “I never had too much dealing with her, she was always very quiet, but she was always pleasant.

“They seemed like a very normal family, definitely not one you would expect to turn out like this.

“We’ve not had anything like this happen on our road before. It’s really scary.”

A Kent Police spokesman said: “Kent Police was called at 12.40pm on Saturday to a report of a disturbance at a property in Priory Road.

“Officers, along with a trained police negotiator, attended and attempted to engage with a man inside the address.

“Firearms officers also attended and while they were at the scene, a 36-year-old woman suffered injuries believed to have been caused by a handgun and she was taken to a London hospital.

“The victim died from her injuries shortly before the evening of Monday.

“The man, aged 29, was also taken to hospital with a firearms injury and he remains in a critical condition.

“He is being treated as the suspect and an investigation is being led by the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate.”

The force said no police weapons were discharged during the incident.

They are appealing for anyone with information to contact them on 01474 366149, quoting reference 46/80922/23.

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The incident has also been reported to police watchdog Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

A spokesman for the IOPC said: “We have received a referral from Kent Police and we are assessing the available information to decide whether any further action is required.”

Kent Police said no police weapons were discharged during the incident


Kent Police said no police weapons were discharged during the incidentCredit: PA