Moment hero teacher 'tackles Crawley College gunman to ground'

27 April 2021, 10:22 | Updated: 27 April 2021, 15:07

Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

This is the moment a suspected gunman is tackled to the ground at Crawley College by a man reported to be one of the teachers.

The Snapchat post has been widely circulated following the arrest of an 18-year-old on Monday afternoon.

A knife and a firearm were seized at the scene.

A heavy armed police response was triggered after blank rounds were fired and heard across the area.

Two staff members, believed to have tried to intervene, are being treated for non life-threatening injuries - neither of them gunshot wounds, police confirmed.

READ MORE: Teenager arrested after 'shots fired' near Crawley College

Emergency services, including armed counter-terror police, raced to the area at around 3pm following multiple 999 calls.

The college confirmed on Tuesday morning it would stay closed following the incident as it focuses on helping police with their enquiries.

A statement said: "Two members of our staff at Crawley College sustained minor injuries during the incident but these were not gun shot wounds. Both members of staff have received treatment and will make a full recovery.

"In the aftermath of the incident, students and staff were evacuated to a safe space whilst the police carried out a thorough search of the campus and buildings. The College will remain closed today as we continue to assist the Police with their enquiries.

"Our priority is and will remain the safety of our students and staff and we will continue to work closely with Sussex Police in respect of their investigation. At this stage, all lines of enquiry remain open.

"We appreciate what a traumatic experience it must have been for all who were involved at Crawley in both the incident itself and the subsequent lockdown.

"We would like to thank to everyone for their support and resilience during the course of yesterday afternoon and evening - including the Police and emergency services. We will be offering counselling services to our students and staff."

Armed police stormed Crawley College during the incident
Armed police stormed Crawley College during the incident. Picture: PA Images
Armed police stormed Crawley College during the incident
Armed police stormed Crawley College during the incident. Picture: PA Images

The 18-year-old remains in custody and police say they are not looking for anyone else connected to the incident, which is not being treated as a terrorist-related.

Roads surrounding the Sussex college are now fully open and police presence has been reduced.

James, a Crawley College student who did not wish to share his second name, praised his teacher for keeping his class calm following the gunshots.

"I was doing my work at the time then suddenly heard some gunshots from the very bottom of the tower," the 19-year-old, who was on the sixth floor of the building, said.

Police closed the roads around Crawley College overnight on Monday and into Tuesday morning
Police closed the roads around Crawley College overnight on Monday and into Tuesday morning. Picture: PA Images

James said police arrived just a few minutes later and although the experience was scary he "felt calm and safe" thanks to his teacher and the fast response from police - who later helped to evacuate his class.

"It's a really new experience and felt really scary due to there being a gun around where I'm doing my college work," he said.

"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.

"(I'm) just thankful that we had brave teachers and police around."