People fled and a primary school was put on lock-down when a gunman wandered in a North Shore street.
Customers hid in the back office of the J&B Convenience Store, in Cromwell Road, when the man was seen strolling outside at around 9am yesterday.
CCTV footage showed him brandishing a pistol and using it to strike a parked car. He then approached the shop and looked through the window – just as a woman pushing a baby in a pram walked out of the door.
Jade Malia, 25, whose brother Mark owns the shop, was working inside at the time. She said: “I was panicking. Mark came running out from the back office. He told me to get all the customers to safety, so we got them all into the back office and called the police.”
Armed officers, force dogs, and the tactical support unit officers were called to the scene. Westminster Primary Academy in nearby Claremont Road was put on lock-down for 40 minutes.
he 350 pupils were unaware of the events outside as staff locked the door, putting into practice an emergency plan.
Jade said: “The customers were terrified. They didn’t want to leave the store until the police arrived. I was absolutely terrified and I think it’s disgusting that he would put children in that sort of danger.”
Mark, 30, said: “I was cashing up in the back office and when I came out there was a lot of people shouting that there was a gun. He started to walk away and he threw the gun into a garden that the police dogs found.”
The gun was a realistic looking Crosman pistol (inset). Crosman makes gas-powdered BB guns.
A 26-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possessing a firearm.