Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Gun Raider Shot Dead in Sweeney Ambush

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Gun Raider Shot Dead in Sweeney Ambush

Article excerpt


A MAN was shot dead in a Flying Squad ambush on a gang of suspected armed robbers in Kent.

The suspect, in his twenties, was shot in the chest by police marksmen after apparently firing a sawnoff shotgun at plain clothes officers.

Undercover police had staked out the Nationwide building society in New Romney high street last night after a tip-off that an armed gang was planning a raid.

The gang struck when a security guard arrived to deliver cash, holding him hostage at gunpoint and marching him into the building.

Only as the suspects were leaving did the police swoop, challenging the four men with shouts of "armed police".

One of the gang is said to have fired a single cartridge from the sawn-off shotgun as he made a bid to escape.

Marksmen from the Met's specialist CO19 firearms unit armed with Heckler & Koch rifles immediately returned fire.

One witness heard shots just after 8pm and described seeing the bloodied body of a thickset man in a car park behind the building society.

Sophie Ellis, 16, said: "I heard a series of shots, probably about five, from about 150ft away. I ran towards the noise to see what was going on. I saw dozens of police officers, many of them wearing bullet-proof vests and carrying guns.

"They were surrounding a man on the ground. I could see blood on his clothes. It was dark so it was hard to get a clear view of him. I could hear shouting.

"The officers were shouting at other men near the body of the dead man. They were saying: 'Get down, get down.' The men were shouting back at them: 'Get off me, get your f***ing hands off me.'" She went on: "As I was watching, more policemen appeared. Some were getting out of unmarked cars with guns.

Others were jumping out of vans."

The small town on the Kent marshes was the scene of another robbery in June, when raiders rammed a bank with a JCB digger and escaped with thousands. …

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