|Police say masked
man apparently carrying imitation pistol when he was disarmed and pinned down
by Ladbrokes customers
gunman collapsed and died after being disarmed and pinned down by customers as
he tried to rob a bookmakers.
Alan Levers, 50, was believed to be
wearing a gas mask and holding a gun when he entered Ladbrokes in Plymouth on
Friday night. Customers tackled him to the floor while others contacted the
police. Officers found Levers unconscious and attempted to help him but he was
later declared dead.
police commander Andy Bickley said the gun appeared to have been an imitation
pistol. He added that four men were in the betting shop at the time of the
incident and had been questioned by police but not arrested.
Bickley said: "I can share with you that the
firearm has been initially examined by a police firearms officer and it appears
to be an imitation pistol, though this still needs to be verified.
would like to add, however, that there would have been no way of knowing this
at the time of the incident. The actions taken by members of the public in the
shop were brave and showed a disregard for their own safety."
Walker, 55, from Plymouth, entered the shop a few minutes after the incident
and found the gunman being restrained.
"When I went in there, they were
on the floor, they were scuffling on the floor. I just thought it was just a
fight or something," he said.
"The bloke behind the counter told me
they weren't taking any bets and I had to leave.
"I didn't see their
faces, as they were holding the guy down at the back of the shop. I couldn't
see any mask and there wasn't any physical movement, they were just holding
The betting shop remained closed on Saturday while police
continued their investigations.
Bickley said the incident has been
voluntarily referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.