Crawley college shooting: Teenager appears in court over armed incident

Sandijs Dreimanis, 18, will appear at Crawley Magistrates’ Court later today

Ella Glover
Wednesday 28 April 2021 12:45
<p>Significant numbers of armed police were called to the scene</p>

Significant numbers of armed police were called to the scene

A teenager has appeared in court following an armed incident at Crawley College.

Sandijs Dreimanis, 18, was named by police on Wednesday morning and appeared in court soon afterwards.

Police were called to reports of gunfire at Crawley College, West Sussex, at around 3.10pm on Monday, when staff and students had to be evacuated.

Significant numbers of armed police were called to the scene where an 18-year-old man was detained. Two staff members suffered minor injuries after tackling an armed suspect.

On Wednesday, Sussex Police announced that Mr Dreimanis had been charged with possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and possession of a bladed article on a school premises.

Police said on Monday that the incident was not being treated as a terrorist attack. 

He later appeared at Crawley Magistrates’ Court wearing a grey jumper and a face mask.

Mr Dreimanis entered no pleas to the charges and the case was sent to Lewes Crown Court for a further hearing on May 26.

Magistrate Paul Dalby told Mr Dreimanis: “The allegation involving a firearm can only be dealt with at the Crown Court, and as the other matters occurred at the same time they too will be dealt with at the Crown Court.

“Until then you will be remanded in custody,” he added.

Vicki Illingworth, Crawley College principal, praised staff members and emergency responders on Tuesday.

”Our college community was shaken by the actions that occurred yesterday afternoon”, she said.

“I cannot praise the courage, resilience and support shown by our staff enough.

“They have been incredible and the care and compassion they shared with our students and with each other continues to fill me with admiration.

“We can confirm two members of our staff did sustain some minor injuries, which were not gunshot wounds.

“Their heroic actions, and the rapid response of emergency services, helped to protect our college community.”

On Monday, a student called James praised his teacher for keeping the class calm during the incident. 

“It’s a really new experience and felt really scary,” he said, adding “the teacher, he barricaded the room’s door just in case and I have a lot of trust in him, since we were far up the tower I felt safer too.”

Additional reporting by Press Association