British police ended an armed hostage siege on Sunday, saying there were no casualties after a gunman took two staff members hostage at a bowling alley in a leisure complex in central England.
Earlier, Warwickshire police had ruled out an connection with “terrorist activity” after saying they were dealing with an “ongoing incident” at the leisure and shopping centre called Bermuda Park in Nuneaton.
Warwickshire police said in a statement a man has been arrested and is in police custody. Members of public at the bowling alley and neighbouring properties were able to leave safely and nobody was injured during the incident, police said.
Specialist firearms officers and police negotiators, along with fire, ambulance and police air services, attended the incident.
The West Midlands Ambulance Service said on Twitter one suspect had been treated at the scene and taken to hospital by ambulance. Two other men were assessed but determined to be uninjured.
A police department in central England says the incident is ‘unconnected to any terrorist activity.’ (Google Streeview)
Mehdi Afshar, chief executive of MFA Bowl, which owns the alley, was quoted by the BBC as saying the police had stormed the building and ended the siege.
During the incident Warwickshire police warned the public to stay away from Bermuda Park, a shopping and leisure centre in Nuneaton, about 12 kilometres north of the town of Coventry.
Amshar told Sky News earlier that he was informed two of his employees were held at gunpoint at the company’s Nuneaton branch.
Amshar said he believed the gunman was an ex-husband or former boyfriend of an employee, but he couldn’t be sure.
Man says customers were allowed to leave
Police are pictured at the scene of the incident on Sunday. (Aaron Chown/Associated Press)
All customers were able to leave the premises during the incident and were unharmed, Amshar said.
An eyewitness told Sky a nearby restaurant was put in lockdown.
“We got notification that someone had a shotgun inside the bowling alley,” the witness, Sarah Fleming, told Sky News when the incident was still ongoing. “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,” she said. “Everyone is a little bit scared at the minute.”
Staff at the restaurant Frankie and Bennie’s confirmed to CBC News that they were in lockdown.
Police and helicopters on scene
Another witness from the restaurant, Carl Lenton, described a “quite scary” situation unfolding outside.
“There were police cars arriving, there was a helicopter, police dogs, armed police stood all around the bowling alley, around the outside of it,” Lenton said.
The complex houses a movie theatre, restaurants, a gym and bowling alley.
One man said on Twitter that he was stuck at the Odeon Cinema, which was also reported to be on lockdown.
Witness Dean Rogers told the Coventry Telegraph newspaper there were up to 30 armed officers at the scene.
Pictures on Twitter showed several police cars near the complex and local media reported that roads leading to it had been closed off. Some people were being allowed to leave the complex, a witness told Sky News.
The Coventry Telegraph said its reporter had seen an air ambulance land at the scene to join three other ambulances.
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