Crawley College incident: everything we know so far

Huge numbers of armed police swooped on Crawley College after gunshots were reported in the area.

Tuesday, 27th April 2021, 10:29 am

This is your guide to everything we know so far about the major incident.

What happened?

Dozens of police vehicles descended on Crawley College yesterday after gunshots were heard in the area.

Armed officers in Crawley
Armed officers in Crawley

Roads were closed around the college and a cordon was set up with staff and students still inside.

Police snipers took to rooftops nearby and counter terrorism officers were at the scene although late last night (April 26) police confirmed the incident is not being treated as terror related.

When did the incident happen?

Armed police at the scene

The first calls were made to police around 3.10pm yesterday (April 26).

Police made their first statement at 3.21pm urging people to stay away from the area and announcing road closures.

At 3.45pm they confirmed one man had been arrested after reports of gunshots in the area.

At 4.18pm they said staff and students were being evacuated from the college and confirmed two people had been injured, but not seriously.

Officers at the scene

At 10.24pm police confirmed the road closures put in place due to the incident had been lifted. A spokesman said bomb squad searched the college and found nothing suspicious. Police officers also searched an address in Barton Walk, Crawley

Chief Superintendent Howard Hodges added: “We continue to have a policing presence in Crawley and are speaking to witnesses. We are still appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

“I want to thank those who helped apprehend the suspect before officers arrived and all the students, staff and public for their co-operation today.”

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Emergency services in Crawley

Was anyone hurt?

Two staff members suffered minor injuries and presented themselves to a walk-in medical centre, police said. But a spokesman confirmed that the injured people ‘were not shot’.

What was it like at the scene?

Eyewitness Owen Smith-Carretero told this newspaper there were police ‘everywhere’.

Owen said: “There were police everywhere. They were like ants. There was a helicopter flying above.

“Ambulance there, three or for incident response units.”

The parking attendant added that at the time no one knew what had caused the large response in College Road.

Owen, 21, said: “They were swarming. They were walking up and down the road about 30-35 police officers, dozens of police cars and emergency vehicles.”

What has the college said?

A spokeswoman for the college said yesterday they were aware of the incident.

At the time she added: “Sussex Police are present on the scene and a man has been detained. We are awaiting further information from the police.

“We are not aware of any serious injuries. Our priority remains the safety of students & staff.”

She said staff and students were being evacuated from the area around 5pm.

Late last night the college confirmed it would be shut today, April 27, while police continue their enquiries.

Have police arrested anyone after the incident?

Police said an 18-year-old man from Crawley has been arrested after the incident and remains in custody this morning, Tuesday April 27.