Nuneaton bowling alley gunman caught on camera as police continue to quiz bearded hostage-taker

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer

This is the terrifying moment a man armed with a sawn-off shotgun strolled into a Nuneaton bowling alley filled with children.

The shocking footage shows the man, believed to be the ex-husband of a staff member, walk into the MFA Bowl at Bermuda Park in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, at the start of a four-hour siege.

Families inside hid as the suspect allegedly shouted “game over” as he held his ex-partner and a former colleague hostage at around 2.30pm on Sunday afternoon.

The hostage-taker was caught on dashcam entering the Nuneaton bowling alley armed with a sawn-off shotgun (SWNS)

The outside footage was captured on dashcam by David Fletcher, 41, who had just arrived at the bowling alley with his son.

The software engineer said: “As I passed, I noticed people looking in the direction of the man in the video on their phone.

“I then parked up and got out the car with my son and spoke to people outside who said a man has walked in with a shotgun.

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“There was panic around. People were saying the man had been shouting.”

The bearded suspect became locked in a prolonged stand-off with armed police at the Warwickshire retail park after he took his hostages.

He was arrested when officers made a daring swoop on the building under the cover of flash bangs, freeing both hostages unharmed on Sunday evening.

The man is believed to be the ex-partner of one of the workers at the MFA Bowl (SWNS)

Thomas Hitchens, a fast food manager from Nuneaton, was bowling with his family – a party of 12.

The 28-year-old said: “Everyone was running out, and we were literally the last family left in there.

“As I turned around, he was stood there with this sawn-off double-barrelled shotgun. He just shouted at us ‘get out – now’.”

Forensics experts and police took evidence at the end of the four-hour siege (SWNS)

Another witness inside the bowling alley described how the “weird-looking” gunman had brandished his weapon above his head at the start of the ordeal.

Alex Mulholland said: “We were just having a game of bowling and a man who was also bowling ran across our lane and he was like ‘get out, get out’, shouting.

“I was like ‘what’s going on?’ so I turn around and there was a white guy, greyish beard, weird-looking man, he’s got a gun up here, like this over his head.

The terrifying siege ended after a four-hour stand-off (PA)

“He was saying ‘game over, game over’, everyone shouting, screaming, panicking, trying to get out and I didn’t know what to make of it, really.

“I ran, got my things as quickly as I could and get out of there.”

Detectives are now questioning the hostage-taker as they try to establish why the two men were held at gun point.