Armed police arrest man in gun probe

A CLUB owner today praised his door staff after they quickly ushered patrons inside as a man pointed a gun at them.

Grant Sherlock

A CLUB owner today praised his door staff after they quickly ushered patrons inside as a man pointed a gun at them.

Armed police were called to Ipswich Street, Stowmarket when a man was seen brandishing the gun opposite the club.

The drama unfolded in the early hours of yesterday, when more than 400 people were inside Jokers nightclub.

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A member of the public is believed to have spotted a man getting out of a car near the nightclub before reaching inside the vehicle and taking out a rifle.

Police were called and seconds later staff at the club saw a man standing near the Regal cinema opposite pointing the gun at them.

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Richard Roper, who owns the club, said: “It was a dreadful experience.

“Immediately my staff got everybody inside and shut the door. Their first thought was to make sure everybody was safe.

“As they were getting them in I believe the police car pulled up.

“Nobody in the club had any knowledge of what was going on at all.”

Alex Fairfull, from Stowmarket, a patron who was outside the club at the time, said: “The bouncers came running out and grabbed us and just chucked us into the club.

“The club was packed and the bouncers were excellent. They were all on the doorstep getting people inside and they knew someone had a gun.

“Then there were two police cars at the front and armed officers came bounding out.”

Suffolk police were called at 1.24am and an armed response unit arrived within a few minutes.

Inspector Bruce Gent said: “The report was of a man pointing some sort of rifle or weapon in the direction of door staff at a nightclub. There were three or four door staff outside and between 20 and 30 members of the public.

“Just as we arrived he made off in a vehicle.”

He said officers located a vehicle soon after in Finborough Road opposite the playing field.

He added: “An air rifle has been seized. No shots were discharged, nobody was harmed.”

Mr Roper said the man is not believed to have had any link with the club and he commended his staff for acting calmly under the circumstances and said: “I'm impressed with my staff and how they dealt with the situation. I've been told it was very professional.

“My staff were a bit shaken up. I'm so pleased there was somebody sensible in the car park who made the phone call to the police.”

A 36-year-old man from Stowmarket was arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm or imitation firearm with intent to cause fear or violence and driving with excess alcohol.

over both offences and is due to appear…..>

Did you see this incident? Were you in the club at the time or did you see the arrest? Call The Evening Star newsdesk on 01473 324799 or e-mail

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