The first pictures have emerged of the suspected gunman who is holding up a woman inside a house in Oldham, Greater Manchester.
The suspect, named locally as Marc Schofield, is reported to be holding his girlfriend Lisa Hurley hostage inside the address in Pemberton Way, Shaw, in a siege that has lasted more than nine hours.
Police confirmed two children, aged one and six, were also reported to be inside the property with Schofield, but have since been safely removed.
The stand-off with police has also seen several nearby properties evacuated and the National Grid shutting off the gas supply to the house and around 40 to 50 others nearby as a precaution amid concerns Scholfied had purposely cut a pipeline as part of a threat to blow up the house.
Prior to barricading himself inside the home with Hurley, Scofield was found to have posted on Facebook: "Might scare you this... but I'm gonna watch you sleep then kill you ;D not even jokin hahaha."
Police are warning people to stay away from the area while they deal with the ongoing situation.
Chief Superintendent Neil Evans, Territorial Commander for GMP's Oldham borough, added: "We are continuing in our efforts to bring this situation to a safe resolution and we have police negotiators at the scene currently engaging with the man inside the property.
"Our number one priority is the safety of all those involved, as well as other members of the public and as a result the decision was made to evacuate a number of nearby addresses as a precaution.
"I would like to thank members of the public for their cooperation this morning however it is imperative that this continues as we focus all our efforts on resolving the incident. I would therefore ask that people continue to avoid the area as much as possible."
A Greater Manchester Police spokesperson said: "Shortly before 3.15am on Tuesday, July 25, police were called to reports that a man armed with a gun had locked himself in an address on Pemberton Way in Shaw, Oldham.
"Officers are in attendance and are attempting to engage with the man at the scene. A woman and two children were reported to also be in the property, however the children are now safely out of the address. As a precaution, a number of nearby properties are being evacuated."