First picture of suspect, 18, being arrested following Crawley College shooting

These are the first pictures of a teenage suspect being taken into custody after a gunman allegedly opened fire at Crawley College yesterday.

Two staff members were injured, with one hero teacher reportedly rugby tackling the attacker, with witnesses saying he suffered knife wounds to his hand.

The college in Sussex was put in lockdown during the horrifying ordeal as armed police descended shortly after 2.10pm.

An 18-year-old was arrested at the scene and a blank firing handgun and a knife were seized..

Hero Teacher Tackles Gunman And Armed Police Take Him Away

The 18-year-old called her mum to let her know about the potential threat before rushing back to her classroom.

“At that point I didn’t know if I have 10 minutes to live or if I’m going to get out of here alive,” she said.

“I thought he was walking around emptying it into classrooms. I went into a state of shock.”

Just as the teenager was saying what she feared would be her final goodbyes to her mum, a teacher unlocked the room and escorted them out.

“We were met by an armed police officer who pointed a gun at us and told us to turn out our pockets and put our hands above our heads,” she continued.

“At that point I didn’t know if people were dead or had bullet wounds.”

Other students have spoken of how they were also caught up in the midst of the terrifying incident.

Elise Stellebotte said she left her classroom after hearing several shots ring out, only to be confronted by the suspected gunman.

“I saw the gunman,” the 17-year-old said.

“He was wearing a black puma hoodie and a mask. I was only a few yards away and I could see he had this pistol in his hand and was waving it around.

“I don’t think he was very old but he was difficult to see behind the mask and hoodie.

“He pointed the pistol at my tutor, Steve Hopkins, and fired but they were just blanks thank God. He was so shocked.

“He continued ranting and shouting telling people to ‘Run, run’. He was trying to scare people, deliberately. Everyone was pretty scared.”

One pupil told the PA news agency how her teachers came inside and said “get out now, someone’s got a gun”.

Inquiries into the incident continued on Tuesday and officers searched a home in the local area.

Police have confirmed that it was a teacher and a member of support staff – both college employees – who tackled the “suspect” during the incident.

A video shared on Snapchat appears to show someone being held on the ground by several others outside the college, while the person holding the camera says “my man had a knife and a gun”.

Chief Inspector Shane Baker said: “I’d personally like to thank everyone who helped to quickly bring this incident to a safe conclusion, especially the two members of college staff whose heroics have not gone unnoticed.

“They put themselves in harm’s way in order to protect their students, fellow employees and the wider public, and I am hugely grateful for their quick-thinking actions.

“During this, they sustained minor injuries – not gunshot wounds – and presented themselves to a walk-in medical centre.

“Thankfully, no other injuries were reported, and no damage was caused by the blank shots fired.”

Following the incident at Crawley College on Monday, Vicki Illingworth, Crawley College principal, said: “Our college community was shaken by the actions that occurred yesterday afternoon.

“I cannot praise the courage, resilience and support shown by our staff enough. They have been incredible and the care and compassion they shared with our students and with each other continues to fill me with admiration.

“We can confirm two members of our staff did sustain some minor injuries, which were not gunshot wounds.

“Their heroic actions – and the rapid response of emergency services – helped to protect our college community. They are both at home, resting, and we ask members of the media to respect their privacy at this time.”