Two people are injured after ‘shots are fired’ outside college in Crawley

This is the shocking moment a hero teacher bravely tackled a knife-wielding suspect armed with a shotgun after two people were injured at a college in Crawley on Monday.  

Crawley College in West Sussex was evacuated on Monday afternoon with terrified students claiming that a gunman entered the building while ‘waving a black pistol around’ before attacking lecturers. 

Snapchat footage also shows the moment the suspect was bravely tackled by a passerby, with students claiming a hero teacher was the one to intervene. 

Officers received multiple calls shortly after 3.10pm to reports of gun shots being fired at the college. Armed police quickly rushed to the scene and an 18-year-old man from Crawley was arrested.  He remains in custody. 

A gun and a knife were seized and two college staff members were treated for minor injuries. Around 30 armed response officers from forces across the southeast were involved in the operation, while a police helicopter hovered overhead.

Sussex Police confirmed they were liaising with counter terrorism officers as they explore a possible motive.

Students said the gunman, who was also armed with a knife, stabbed one college lecturer in the hand and fired blanks from a pistol directly at another lecturer before being tackled to the ground. 

Students said the masked gunman entered Crawley College at around 3.10pm and began waving around large black pistol in the car park. 

Elise Stellebotte, 17, who is studying for a motor mechanics diploma, said she and fellow students left their classroom after hearing several shots being fired.

She said: ‘I herd several shots being fired really quickly and everyone dived out of the classroom. I saw the gunman. He was wearing a black Puma hoodie and a mask. I was only a few yards away and I could see he had this pistol in his hand and was waving it around.

‘I don’t think he was very old but he was difficult to see behind the mask and hoodie. He pointed the pistol at my tutor and fired but they were just blanks thank God. He was so shocked.

‘He continued ranting and shouting telling people to ‘Run, run’. He was trying to scare people, deliberately. Everyone was pretty scared.

‘No-one knew what was going on. I didn’t feel to scared so I tried to approach him but we were told to get back in the classroom. Everyone was pretty petrified. We had no idea what was happening and it’s worrying with all the terror attacks you hear about.

‘I heard he stabbed on lecturer in the hand when he tried to tackle him and I also heard he may have also stabbed himself.’ 

A man has been detained after armed police swooped on Crawley College in West Sussex this afternoon

A man has been detained after armed police swooped on Crawley College in West Sussex this afternoon

A man has been detained after armed police swooped on Crawley College in West Sussex this afternoon

Two people have been injured and a man has been arrested today following a suspected shooting outside a college in Crawley

Two people have been injured and a man has been arrested today following a suspected shooting outside a college in Crawley

Two people have been injured and a man has been arrested today following a suspected shooting outside a college in Crawley

Students flee Crawley College while supported by police officers after the incident in West Sussex this afternoon

Students flee Crawley College while supported by police officers after the incident in West Sussex this afternoon

Students flee Crawley College while supported by police officers after the incident in West Sussex this afternoon

Armed police responded to 'reports of gunshot fire' as staff and students were evacuated from the building in West Sussex

Armed police responded to 'reports of gunshot fire' as staff and students were evacuated from the building in West Sussex

Armed police responded to ‘reports of gunshot fire’ as staff and students were evacuated from the building in West Sussex

‘One of my classmates was almost having a panic attack and people were very scared. Then police arrived and there were armed snipers everywhere and the helicopter in the air.’

Another student, Eddie, 18, who witnessed the incident, said: ‘It was absolutely terrifying. I heard shots ringing out and they were unmistakably gunshots. I saw the guy. He was wearing a black hoodie and a jumper and he had a mask on.

‘He was screaming at people telling them: ‘Run for your lives, run, run!’ and jumping around all over the place then he fired some shots. No-one knew they weren’t live bullets but they turned out to be blanks.

‘It was the scariest thing ever. Everyone thought it was a terrorist attack. I thought: ‘Oh my God. There’s going to be a massacre’ and we all went back into the building for safety.’

At 6pm police snipers were seen on the roof of the college and armed response units were patrolling the grounds and carrying out room to room searches of the premises.

One tutor, who would not be named, said: ‘It was a shocking incident. I think everyone is extremely shaken by it.’ 

One staff member, who did not want to be named, said: ‘The officers were just checking our details and asking whether we saw anything.

‘I was just sat at my desk when I was told we should leave the building. I didn’t see or hear anything.

‘But some students are clearly visibly upset by whatever happened. It appears to be very serious. I just hope everybody is okay.’

Some students could be seen crying as they were picked up by their frantically worried parents.

One mother, who wanted to remain anonymous, said of her teenage son: ‘He saw the whole thing. But he’s too upset and terrified to talk about it.’ 

Armed police at Crawley College, Crawley, West Sussex, following 'reports of gunshot fire' at the site this afternoon

Armed police at Crawley College, Crawley, West Sussex, following 'reports of gunshot fire' at the site this afternoon

Armed police at Crawley College, Crawley, West Sussex, following ‘reports of gunshot fire’ at the site this afternoon

A large number of armed police officers flocked to the scene of the incident, with police dogs and snipers also in attendance

A large number of armed police officers flocked to the scene of the incident, with police dogs and snipers also in attendance

A large number of armed police officers flocked to the scene of the incident, with police dogs and snipers also in attendance

Two people have been injured and a man has been arrested after police responded to 'reports of gunshot fire' outside a college in Crawley

Two people have been injured and a man has been arrested after police responded to 'reports of gunshot fire' outside a college in Crawley

Two people have been injured and a man has been arrested after police responded to ‘reports of gunshot fire’ outside a college in Crawley

Armed police were pictured outside the West Sussex college as staff and students were evacuated from the building

Armed police were pictured outside the West Sussex college as staff and students were evacuated from the building

Armed police were pictured outside the West Sussex college as staff and students were evacuated from the building

Two people are injured after 'shots are fired' outside college in Crawley

Two people are injured after 'shots are fired' outside college in Crawley

Two people are injured after ‘shots are fired’ outside college in Crawley

One man has been detained following reports of shots being fired near Crawley College

One man has been detained following reports of shots being fired near Crawley College

One man has been detained following reports of shots being fired near Crawley College

Two people have been injured and a man has been arrested today following a suspected shooting outside a college in Crawley

Two people have been injured and a man has been arrested today following a suspected shooting outside a college in Crawley

Two people have been injured and a man has been arrested today following a suspected shooting outside a college in Crawley

There is a large police presence at the scene of the incident in West Sussex

There is a large police presence at the scene of the incident in West Sussex

There is a large police presence at the scene of the incident in West Sussex

Armed police were pictured outside Crawley College in West Sussex today

Armed police were pictured outside Crawley College in West Sussex today

Armed police were pictured outside Crawley College in West Sussex today

The National Police Air Service (NPAS) said a police helicopter from Redhill was called to the scene to support local officers during the incident. 

In a statement this afternoon, Sussex Police said: ‘One man has been detained following reports of shots being fired near Crawley College. 

‘Please stay away from the area at this time. There is a large police presence at scene and in the local area.’

In a further statement, the force said: ‘Police have responded to reports of gun shot fire near Crawley College. Police received multiple calls shortly after 3.10pm. 

‘One man has been detained at the scene by police. Staff and students are being evacuated away from the college. Two people have suffered injuries, but these are not believed to be serious.’

Chief Superintendent Howard Hodges added later: ‘We continue to have a large policing presence in Crawley and are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

‘Two staff members at the College suffered minor injuries and presented themselves to a walk-in medical centre. No one else has presented themselves to use with injuries but if you need medical assistance please contact the ambulance service or speak to an officer.’We are liaising with officers at Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE). All lines of enquiry are open at this stage.

‘Roads in the vicinity of the college have been closed and we continue to ask members of the public to stay away from the area at this time.’ 

A spokeswoman for the college said: ‘We are aware of an incident at Crawley College this afternoon.

Surrounding roads are shut while members of the public are advised to stay away from the site. There is a large police presence at the scene and in the local area

Surrounding roads are shut while members of the public are advised to stay away from the site. There is a large police presence at the scene and in the local area

Surrounding roads are shut while members of the public are advised to stay away from the site. There is a large police presence at the scene and in the local area

Surrounding roads are shut while members of the public are advised to stay away from the site. There is a large police presence at the scene and in the local area

Surrounding roads are shut while members of the public are advised to stay away from the site. There is a large police presence at the scene and in the local area

A large police presence is in place near Crawley College and the public is being urged to stay away, a force spokesperson said

A large police presence is in place near Crawley College and the public is being urged to stay away, a force spokesperson said

A large police presence is in place near Crawley College and the public is being urged to stay away, a force spokesperson said

Armed police responded to 'reports of gunshot fire' as staff and students were evacuated from the building in West Sussex

Armed police responded to 'reports of gunshot fire' as staff and students were evacuated from the building in West Sussex

Armed police responded to ‘reports of gunshot fire’ as staff and students were evacuated from the building in West Sussex

Sussex Police said: 'Police have responded to reports of gun shot fire near Crawley College. Police received multiple calls shortly after 3.10pm. One man has been detained'

Sussex Police said: 'Police have responded to reports of gun shot fire near Crawley College. Police received multiple calls shortly after 3.10pm. One man has been detained'

Sussex Police said: ‘Police have responded to reports of gun shot fire near Crawley College. Police received multiple calls shortly after 3.10pm. One man has been detained’

Two people have suffered injuries, but these are not believed to be serious

Two people have suffered injuries, but these are not believed to be serious

Two people have suffered injuries, but these are not believed to be serious

‘Sussex Police are currently present on the scene and a man has been detained. We are awaiting further information from Sussex Police. At this time we’re not aware of any serious injuries.

‘Our priority remains the safety of students and staff and we’re currently working with police to safely evacuate everybody from campus.’

Eyewitness Owen Smith-Carretero, 21, claimed there were police ‘everywhere’ after two people were hurt in the incident.  ‘There were police everywhere,’ he told the Crawley Observer.

‘There was a helicopter flying above. Ambulance there, three or for incident response units.

‘They were swarming. They were walking up and down the road about 30-35 police officers, dozens of police cars and emergency vehicles.’ 

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