Breaking Crawley Sussex

Police confirm blank firing handgun and a knife were seized from Crawley College as Teenager remains in Custody

Sussex Police would like to recognise the bravery of two members of Crawley College staff who tackled an armed suspect during an incident on Monday afternoon (26 April).

Shortly after 3.10pm, police received reports of shots being fired at the site in College Road.

Officers swiftly responded to the scene, where the suspect had been detained by two college employees; a teacher and a member of support staff.

A blank firing handgun and a knife were seized, and at 3.20pm an 18-year-old man from Crawley was arrested on suspicion of firearms offences. He remains in custody at this stage.

Pupils and staff were evacuated to a safe space while police carried out a search of the buildings, assisted by the Explosive Ordnance Disposal. West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service and South East Coast Ambulance were also in attendance. Nothing suspicious was found.

Officers also conducted a search at an address in Barton Walk, Crawley, in connection with the incident.

Chief Inspector Shane Baker, of the Crawley Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “I’d personally like to thank everyone who helped to quickly bring this incident to a safe conclusion, especially the two members of college staff whose heroics have not gone unnoticed. They put themselves in harm’s way in order to protect their students, fellow employees and the wider public, and I am hugely grateful for their quick-thinking actions.

“During this, they sustained minor injuries – not gunshot wounds – and presented themselves to a walk-in medical centre. Thankfully, no other injuries were reported, and no damage was caused by the blank shots fired.

“We are treating this as an isolated incident which was not terror-related, and while we are not seeking anyone else in connection with it, we will continue to provide a high visibility police presence in the area for community reassurance.

“We are also working with the college and the local authority to manage the welfare and wellbeing of those involved – including students – who will have been understandably shocked by this experience.

“Our enquiries are ongoing into this criminal investigation, and anyone with any information is urged to report it online or call 101, quoting Operation Reset.”

Crawley College is assisting Sussex Police with its investigation and has confirmed that the college will be closed until at least Thursday 29 April.