A GAME hunter and butcher shot himself following a four-hour stand-off with armed police.
Officers sealed off a residential street as a negotiator tried to persuade Allan Ellis, 50, who had a gun, not to hurt himself.
The former corporal with the Scots Guards spoke to police over the phone on and off after reports of a ‘domestic incident’ at 10.55pm on Wednesday.
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He was threatening to harm himself and when negotiations broke down, officers entered the terraced house and found his body in an upstairs room at 3am yesterday.
A woman, believed to Mr Ellis’s wife Heather, was present during the incident but left of her own accord while negotiations were ongoing, police said.
Mr Ellis, a licensed gun owner, shot himself at the couple's home in Weir Lane, Bacup.
Police are not treating his death as suspicious and nobody else was hurt.
Mr Ellis owned Rushyford Game shop in Waterfoot and supplied meat to farmers' markets across East Lancashire.
He also organised deer hunts, shooting events and ran a catering stand at food festivals.
Neighbours spoke of their shock at hearing of Mr Ellis’ death.
An elderly resident, who has lived in the street for 40 years, said: “My husband went out at about 4.30am and there were three police cars outside.
“It really shocks you knowing that that’s happened a few doors down. It’s just awful. It must be terrible for Heather and her daughter."
Another resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “It’s terrible to think it’s happened right on your doorstep.”
Mr Ellis served in the Army from 1980 to 1993 when a serious injury forced him to change career.
He then went into hunting venison, rabbit, boar and other game, and selling the meat to Riley’s Butchers in Crawshawbooth, Padiham and Ramsbottom farmers' markets, Clitheroe Show and Stonyhurst College in the town, and Accrington and Rossendale College.
Mr Ellis is thought to originally be from the village of Rushyford, in County Durham, and named his game dealing and shooting ware store in Burnley Road East after his hometown when he opened it 12 months ago.
A Lancashire Police spokeswoman said the case has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), as is routine when a death occurs following police involvement.
She said: “An investigation is under way and the family of the deceased are being supported by police liaison officers.”