Gunman arrested after reportedly taking hostages at bowling alley in UK

An ambulance is driven away under police guard from the Bermuda Park leisure park in Nuneaton, central England, on Sun., Oct. 22, 2017.

Getty

Last Updated Oct 22, 2017 3:06 PM EDT

LONDON -- An armed suspect was arrested Sunday after he reportedly took hostages at a bowling alley in central England.

Warwickshire Police said they responded to reports of a man with a firearm in Nuneaton, about 7.5 miles north of the town of Coventry, at 2:30 p.m. local time on Sunday. Police said they arrested the gunman and took him into custody, and said no one was injured in the incident.

Warwickshire Police Chief Superintendent Alex Franklin-Smith thanked residents in the area for their patience and cooperation with police during the incident.

"We are pleased that we were able to bring this incident to a peaceful resolution and that there were no injuries,"  Franklin-Smith said in a statement. "I would like to reassure the Nuneaton community that the incident is unconnected to any terrorist activity."

Mehdi Amshar, chief executive of MFA Bowl bowling alley chain, told BBC News that two hostages were held at the company's Nuneaton branch.

Speaking to Sky News, Amshar said he believed the gunman was an ex-husband or former boyfriend of an employee, but he couldn't be sure.

The suspect was treated at the scene and transported to the hospital by ambulance, The West Midlands Ambulance Service said on Twitter. The extent of the suspect's injuries are unclear.

The ambulance service said it was called to the shopping center Sunday afternoon and dispatched an ambulance, two paramedics, the Hazardous Area Response Team and an emergency planning manager to the scene. It said on Twitter there were "no casualties."

An eyewitness told Sky News a nearby restaurant was on lockdown orders.

"We got notification that someone had a shotgun inside the bowling alley," witness Sarah Fleming told Sky News. "Then we had notification from the police that he actually had hostages."

"Everyone has been a bit up in the air, don't know what's going on," she said. "Everyone is a little bit scared at the minute."

Kelly Pettett told BBC News that she took shelter in the restroom of a restaurant at the shopping center after police informed her and others about the gunman.

"I am hiding in the toilet with about 20 people," Pettett said. "It looks like police have got the bowling alley surrounded. The police told me that the gunman is near the door with a hostage."

Megan Westward told BBC News she was about to leave a children's play center when staff told her to move away from the windows. She was then evacuated to a nearby hotel.

"There are quite a few bullet proof vans," she said. "We've just seen an air ambulance take off, there are ambulances and there are police in full body suits with guns."

The police response may have been heightened by concerns about a possible extremist attack. Britain's official terrorist threat level is set as "severe," indicating an attack is thought to be highly likely.

Gun crimes are rare in Britain, which has strict firearm control rules.