Politician tackles gunman who shot officer on submarine

HMS Astute
HMS Astute


LONDON: A Royal Navy officer was killed and another seriously injured in a shooting on a British nuclear-powered submarine which was only halted when a visiting politician tackled the gunman.

Another member of the navy was arrested on suspicion of murder on Friday morning in Southampton. Officials stressed that the shooting was not related to terrorism.

The attack, aboard the navy’s most advanced and newest submarine, HMS Astute, came to an end when the leader of the local council disarmed the gunman and wrestled him to the ground.

Royston Smith was on a guided tour of the submarine, which was in Southampton on a five-day visit after seven weeks at sea. HMS Astute has only been in service since August.

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Mr Smith told the BBC: ”He had a magazine with 30 rounds in it so I took the view that someone had to stop him.

”At some point I decided that the best form of defence was to try to disarm him. He fired again while I had hold of the weapon. I had a strange feeling. I was not sure if I’d been hit … but I wasn’t, thankfully.”

Mr Smith, a former member of the Royal Air Force, pushed the gunman to the ground and prised the weapon from his grasp. He then restrained the man with the help of the council’s chief executive, who along with the mayor was on the tour.

Witnesses said armed police, firefighters and paramedics were quickly sent to the docks. The other crew member who was shot was taken to hospital with significant injuries. His condition was described as stable.

Police said submarine security was not breached as part of the incident. Thirty witnesses will be questioned.

Agence France-Presse



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