Man with 'sawn-off shotgun takes hostages in Nuneaton bowling alley'

Bermuda Park on lockdown as police say they are 'dealing with an ongoing incident'

Samuel Osborne
Sunday 22 October 2017 15:55 BST
Man with 'sawn-off shotgun takes hostages in bowling alley'

A man armed with a sawn-off shotgun has taken at least two people hostage at a bowling alley in Nuneaton.

Warwickshire Police said they were "dealing with an ongoing incident" at Bermuda Park and urged members of the public to avoid the area.

They later tweeted to say the situation was "unconnected to any terrorist activity."

The Chief Executive of the MFA Bowl confirmed two staff members were taken hostage.

One eye-witness, Dean Rogers, told the Coventry Telegraph there were up to 30 armed officers at the scene.

Another, Lloyd Weightman, told the paper a man with a shotgun commanded him to "get the f*** out" of the bowling alley.

He said he and his two sons, aged seven and three, went into a nearby Odeon cinema, which is now in lockdown.

West Midlands Ambulance Service said: "We currently have an ambulance, two paramedic officers, the Hazardous Area Response Team, and an emergency planning manager at the scene."

It tweeted to say there had been no casualties.

Replying to Warwickshire Police's post about the "ongoing incident" on Twitter, Paul Edgington said: "I'm stuck in the cinema. Are we safe? How long are we expected to be locked down?"

In a Facebook post, Chris Carpenter said: "Madness up in Nuneaton bowling man got two hostages and a shotgun, just saw him walk a hostage to the door with a shotgun to his head."

Footage shared on social media appeared to show armed police at the scene, along with a helicopter hovering overhead.

Nearby roads have been blocked off by the police and an air ambulance had landed at the scene along with three other ambulances, local media reports said.

The park includes an Odeon cinema, children's play centre, Nuffield Health gym, Holiday Inn hotel and other pubs and restaurants.

A staff member in the retail park said: "We are on lockdown."

One witness told BBC News: "When we were leaving there were police standing around the bowling alley, there were police cars outside the main entrance, with police officers in full body armour."

Another witness, Sarah Fleming, said a police officer confirmed to her an armed man was holding hostages at MFA Bowl.

She told Sky News: "We got notification that someone had a shotgun inside the bowling alley.

"We were inside Frankie and Benny's and obviously we went on lockdown, no-one was allowed in or out.

"Then we had notification from the police that he actually had hostages.

"Everyone has been a bit up in the air, don't know what's going on and obviously there is a lot of children in here as well which has been quite an experience for them.

"So everyone is a little bit scared at the minute."

The restaurant was put on lockdown after a manager went to the nearby cinema, where staff confirmed the situation, she added.

Nuneaton MP Marcus Jones told Sky News: "It is a situation where I think we need to let the police do their job and I think this is an extremely concerning situation.

"But I have every confidence that Warwickshire Police are capable and are able to deal with what looks like a very difficult situation."

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in