Staff praised by police for bravery in tackling armed suspect at Crawley College

Two members of staff who tackled an armed suspect at Crawley College on Monday (26 April) have been praised for their bravery.

Sussex Police said their "heroics have not gone unnoticed" as officers continue to investigate the incident.

Students and staff had to be evacuated with their hands on their heads after shots rang out in the West Sussex town on Monday.

The incident unfolded on Monday afternoon as police received reports of 'shots fired' at the college at around 3pm.

One pupil told the PA news agency how her teachers came inside and said “get out now, someone’s got a gun”.

  • Chief Inspector Shane Baker thanks staff who intervened on Monday

Inquiries into the incident continued on Tuesday and officers searched a home in the local area.

An 18-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of firearms offences following the incident and a blank firing handgun and a knife were seized.

Police have confirmed that it was a teacher and a member of support staff – both college employees – who tackled the “suspect” during the incident.

A video shared on Snapchat seen by PA appears to show someone being held on the ground by several others outside the college, while the person holding the camera says “my man had a knife and a gun”.

The college said it would be providing support to students and staff involved in the incident on Monday.

  • Vickie Illingworth, Crawley College Principal

Chief Inspector Shane Baker 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.”

Crawley College has meanwhile confirmed that it will remain closed on Wednesday (28 April) as police continue to investigate the circumstances around the incident.