Police arrest gunman who held two members of staff hostage at bowling alley
Both staff members – a duty manager and a lane host – were unharmed.
A gunman who held two members of staff hostage at a bowling alley in Warwickshire has been arrested.
Bermuda Park in Nuneaton was locked down when the suspect held two male employees inside MFA Bowl for more than four hours.
The hostage-taker was arrested and taken to hospital, and both staff members – a duty manager and a lane host – were unharmed.
Chris Clegg, operations director of MFA Bowl, said: “He (the suspect) has been arrested and the two staff are safe.”
People, including children, were evacuated from nearby properties in the retail park during the incident, which police confirmed was not terror-related.
Mr Clegg said the suspect was handcuffed and the two employees were checked over for shock.
He said: “Two people were taken to a safe place, obviously they were checked over because obviously they might be in shock.
“It’s obviously not an everyday situation. The ambulance, police were all checking them and making sure they were OK.”
Warwickshire Police said specialist firearms officers and police negotiators, along with other emergency services attended the scene at 2.30pm on Sunday.
The force announced shortly after 7pm that the suspect had been arrested.
Chief Superintendent Alex Franklin-Smith said: “We would like to thank local people for their patience and co-operation while officers dealt with this incident.
“We are pleased that we were able to bring this incident to a peaceful resolution and that there were no injuries.”
Shortly after 6.30pm a series of loud bangs could be heard and about 10 minutes later an ambulance was allowed through the cordon and two people got out.
The gunman had brandished his weapon above his head and yelled “game over” after arriving at the bowling alley, one witness said.
Alex MulHolland said: “We were just having a game… and a man who was also bowling ran across our lane and he was like ‘get out, get out’, shouting.
“I was like ‘what’s going on?’ so I turn around and there was a white guy, greyish beard, weird-looking man, he’s got a gun up here, like this over his head.
“He was saying ‘game over, game over’, everyone shouting, screaming, panicking, trying to get out and I didn’t know what to make of it, really. I ran, got my things as quickly as I could and get out of there.”
Asked about the man’s weapon, his friend Liam Roberts said: “It was a shotgun, a long-looking thing.
“I thought it was like a sword or a big knife but the second time when he came out near the door about 10 minutes after, this was to try and scare people, we knew it was a shotgun.”
Around 40 or 50 people, including children, were inside the complex at the time.
“There was probably about 20 kids, crying, that were trying to get out – about five people at a time trying to get through a door.”
They speculated that the suspect was trying to clear the building of people at first. Mr Roberts said: “I think he was trying to make people scared, to know he was there.”
Chief executive of MFA Bowl Mehdi Afshar said he had been informed the suspect could be the ex-husband or ex-boyfriend of a member of staff.
Following the conclusion of the incident, forensics officers were examining the scene and a red Peugeot 307 car was removed by police on the back of a vehicle transporter.