Gunman takes staff hostage in four-hour siege at bowling alley
A gunman terrified customers at a bowling alley and held two employees hostage for four hours.
As the incident began to unfold yesterday afternoon, police in central England had warned the public to stay away from Bermuda Park, the shopping centre where the bowling alley is located in Nuneaton, about 12km north of the city of Coventry.
A man was arrested and taken to hospital for treatment.
The two people being held were released unharmed but details of the gunman's condition were unknown.
Warwickshire Police said the problem was not terrorism-related.
Mehdi Amshar, chief executive of the MFA Bowl bowling alley chain, said he understood the two employees were held at gunpoint during the siege.
Mr Amshar said he believed the gunman was an ex-husband or former boyfriend of an employee. All customers were able to leave the premises and were unharmed, Mr Amshar said.
Witnesses said that shortly after 6.30pm a series of loud bangs could be heard and about 10 minutes later an ambulance was allowed through the cordon and two people got out.
The gunman had brandished his weapon above his head and shouted "Game over" after arriving at the bowling alley, one witness said.
"We were just having a game ... and a man who was also bowling ran across our lane and he was like 'get out, get out', shouting," said Alex Moore-Holland.
"I was like 'what's going on?' so I turn around and there was a white guy, greyish beard, weird-looking man, he's got a gun up here, like this over his head.
"He was saying 'Game over, game over', everyone shouting, screaming, panicking, trying to get out and I didn't know what to make of it, really.
"I ran, got my things as quickly as I could and got out of there."
Asked about the man's weapon, his friend Liam Roberts said: "It was a shotgun, a long-looking thing.
"I thought it was like a sword or a big knife but the second time when he came out near the door about 10 minutes after, this was to try and scare people, we knew it was a shotgun."
Around 40 or 50 people, including children, were inside the complex at the time.
"There was probably about 20 kids, crying, that were trying to get out - about five people at a time trying to get through a door."