A MUM has told of the terrifying moment a man wielding a gun confronted her and her seven-year-old daughter in a quiet residential street.
Sarah Finch, 30, had just left her house in Shelley Road, St Mark's with her daughter Jessica shortly before 7pm when she noticed a man on the opposite side of the street walking parallel to the pair.
But nothing could have prepared the student nurse for what came next.
The mum-of-three said: "When he crossed over at Shelley Avenue he started shouting that he had a knife. My daughter, who is only seven, started panicking and we kept on walking up the road, but halfway between the junction with Kipling Road he pulled open his jacket and I could see he had a gun in the waist of his trousers. He reached in to pick it up and he crossed the road towards us."
The police believe it was a cap gun, but Sarah had no idea at the time.
She added: "I just panicked and I told my daughter to run to my mum and dad's house just down the road.
"At that point I said I was going to call the police and he said 'do it, do it' and I managed to get my phone out while he was waving the gun in my face.
"I got through to the police and they told me to keep an eye on him but to try and get away from him.
"I started to take steps backwards and he walked the opposite way, gesturing for me to 'come on'.
"My daughter and my parents were on the street by that point.
"The only thought in my head when he was in front of me was to get my daughter out of the way. I just hope my daughter can overcome the fear she is now suffering."
Sarah's mum, Margaret Finch, 55, described the moment Jessica ran into her house, also in Shelley Road.
She said: "Jess came running into the house and she was absolutely hysterical and crying, saying words like 'knife' and 'gun'.
"She said that a man had mummy and it frightened the life out of me. I have never seen Jessica so distraught."
The man eventually turned and walked along Tennyson Road. Sarah stopped a car travelling towards her and asked for help after she recognised one of the men inside as Hapinder Singh, 36, who owns the nearby Tennyson Convenience Store.
After talking to Sarah, Mr Singh drove past the man, saw the gun and rang 999 when he got to the shop.
He said: "I was scared. We thought he had a real gun.
"There were a lot of people around, people wondering why the police were here."
Gloucestershire police confirmed they were called to Shelley Road to reports of a man carrying a gun on Tuesday evening.
A 68-year-old Cheltenham man was arrested in Shakespeare Road on suspicion of possession of a firearm/imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
He was later bailed to return to the police station on September 12.
A weapon was recovered by officers and is believed to be a cap gun.