Gunman arrested, hostages freed at British bowling alley

Police stand guard at the entrance to the MFA Bowl at The Bermuda leisure park in Nuneaton, central England, on Oct 22, 2017, shortly after the police staged an operation to end a siege at the bowling alley.
Police stand guard at the entrance to the MFA Bowl at The Bermuda leisure park in Nuneaton, central England, on Oct 22, 2017, shortly after the police staged an operation to end a siege at the bowling alley.PHOTO: AFP
Ambulance crews leave the cordon around the Bermuda Park leisure park in Nuneaton, central England, on Oct 22, 2017.
Ambulance crews leave the cordon around the Bermuda Park leisure park in Nuneaton, central England, on Oct 22, 2017.PHOTO: AFP
Police stand guard inside a cordon at The Bermuda leisure park in Nuneaton, central England, on Oct 22, 2017, minutes after the police staged an operation to end a siege at the bowling alley.
Police stand guard inside a cordon at The Bermuda leisure park in Nuneaton, central England, on Oct 22, 2017, minutes after the police staged an operation to end a siege at the bowling alley.PHOTO: AFP
The West Midlands Ambulance Service posted this picture with a tweet that said an ambulance, paramedic officers and the Hazardous Area Response Team were at the complex after a call at 3.40pm.
The West Midlands Ambulance Service posted this picture with a tweet that said an ambulance, paramedic officers and the Hazardous Area Response Team were at the complex after a call at 3.40pm. PHOTO: TWITTER/ WMAS

NUNEATON (AFP) – British police arrested a gunman on Sunday (Oct 22) and freed two hostages after a near five-hour stand-off at a bowling alley. 

The arrest at Bermuda Park leisure park in Nuneaton, central England, came after police evacuated the area on being alerted to the gunman at around 2.30pm (9.30pm Singapore time).

“We are pleased that we were able to bring this incident to a peaceful resolution and that there were no injuries,” said Alex Franklin-Smith from Warwickshire Police. 

“I would like to reassure the Nuneaton community that the incident is unconnected to any terrorist activity,” he added. 

Mehdi Afshar, MFA Bowl’s chief executive, told the BBC the hostages were staff and that the gunman was arrested after police stormed the building. 

The two employees were held captive by a man described by Afshar as “a boyfriend or ex-husband to one of the members of staff”. 

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West Midlands Ambulance Service said one suspect was treated at the scene and taken to hospital. An AFP photographer saw an ambulance being driven away under police guard. 

“Two other men have been assessed but were uninjured and have been discharged in scene,” the ambulance service wrote on Twitter. 

MFA Bowl is located next to children’s activity centre Bermuda Adventure Soft Play World and close to Frankie and Benny’s restaurant, while the leisure park also has a gym and hotel. 

A witness who had been at a children’s party at the bowling alley told Sky News a member of staff came over and whispered in his ear for the group to leave. 

“I looked up and there was a guy, probably 20 or 30 feet away, walking towards us with a sawn-off shotgun sort of slung over his shoulder,” said Lawrence Hallett. 

“I thought it was a joke and panicked a little bit and shouted ‘everyone get out’, and basically ran, hell for leather, out of the building.”

At Bermuda Adventure, witness Megan Westwood said visitors were initially told there was a man with a knife. 

“As time went on we were later told that he actually had a gun and they barricaded the doors, kept us all away from the windows, and then we were told that he had hostages in the bowling alley next to us,” she told the BBC. 

Carl Lenton witnessed the scene from Frankie and Benny’s restaurant. “There were police cars arriving, there was a helicopter, police dogs, armed police stood all around the bowling alley.”

“It was quite scary at times,” he told Sky News.