WITNESSES on a residential street have described the chaotic scenes after a ‘madman with a sword’ was shot by police.

The shooting happened after police were called to Elsinore Road where there were reports of a man trying to break in to a car.

Police say Lewisham officers attended but were threatened with a large bladed weapon as they tried to approach him.

The officers retreated and called for further units to assist including firearms officers. The man then approached officers on Stanstead Road, threatening them with the weapon, police said.

Firearms officers attended the scene, and both taser and guns were used on the man, who was in his 20s.

Council worker Laura Wilkinson, of Stanstead Road, said: “I heard the gunshots and there were quite a lot of them.

“There were three in quick succession followed by three more.

“I got up and looked out the window. The police were screaming and shouting.

“They were shouting ‘get down, stay where you are’.”

She said: “I was relieved to see lots of police out there because obviously waking up to gunshots wasn’t a pleasant experience. It was mad.”

The 26-year-old added: “It does seem like a lot for someone with a knife.”

But Dad-of-one Jason Dempsey, 30, said: “I was told the guy had a sword.

“At the end of the day if there’s a madman there armed with a sword, the police need to do what is necessary.”

The man, originally from Ghana but now living in Forest Hill, was taken to hospital where he remains in a critical but stable condition.

Police confirmed a number of knives were recovered from the scene.

Part of Stanstead Road was closed off all day Sunday and again today.

Police are visiting the area to reassure people living nearby.

News Shopper: Witnesses describe chaos as 'madman with sword' shot by police The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is investigating the shooting.

IPCC Commissioner Mike Franklin said: “His family have been informed and have been taken to the hospital by the police so that they can be close to him.

“The IPCC investigation will be carried out by our own investigators and will look at the circumstances leading up to this shooting.

“The IPCC investigation is in a very early stage and it may take a few days before we have verified information that we can give out. We will issue a fuller statement in due course.”

To get in touch with the investigation call 0800 096 9077 or email foresthill@ipcc.gsi.gov.uk

A Met Police spokesman said: “Every year the Met deploys armed officers to over 3,000 incidents and plans over 700 armed operations in order to protect the public from dangerous offenders.

“In that context, shots are fired very rarely by officers when they see no alternative and only in one or two of those operations each year.

“It is essential that each of these occasions is subject to independent investigation and public scrutiny.”

There will be a community meeting tonight from 6pm at St George's Christ Church, Vancouver Road, SE23 2AG.