Crawley College ‘shooting’: Teen, 18, in court charged with having imitation firearm after ‘shooting at tutor’ in attack

A TEENAGER has today appeared in court after allegedly shooting at a teacher in front of terrified college students.

Sandijs Dreimanis, 18, has been charged with multiple offences including possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

The teenager, from Crawley, was also charged with two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and possession of a bladed article on a school premises.

Dreimanis appeared before Crawley Magistrates Court this morning wearing a grey sweatshirt, dark trousers and a face mask.

He had a graze to his forehead and spoke only to confirm his name and address.

Chair of the magistrates bench, Paul Dalby, said he was sending the matter the crown court as one of the charges was so serious it could only be dealt with by them.


Dreimanis is due to appear at Lewes Crown Court on May 26.

It comes after armed cops dramatically arrested the alleged gunman when officers scrambled to Crawley College just after 3pm on Monday.

Frightened pupils said the alleged shooter told students to "run for your lives" during the horrifying incident.

Two teachers were treated for minor injuries and cops later confirmed no one had been shot.

One of the hero staff members was yesterday revealed to be Steve Hopkins, 51, who raced out of his classroom as the teen allegedly brandished a pistol.


The mechanical engineering tutor faced the suspect down as students ran in fear and he and a colleague, Pete, tackled him and held him down until cops arrived.

Mr Hopkins is said to have been just yards away from the gunman when he allegedly fired shots directly at him.

Thankfully the weapon was firing blank ammunition and Mr Hopkins, a dad, was not injured during the terrifying confrontation.

The gunman was then tackled to the ground by a second heroic teacher and was quickly arrested by armed police.

Students praised Mr Hopkins and said his brave actions were “amazing”.

I heard several shots being fired really quickly and everyone dived out of the classroom. I saw the gunman."

Elise Stellebotte, 17, said she and fellow students fled their classroom after hearing shots being fired.

She said: “I heard several shots being fired really quickly and everyone dived out of the classroom. I saw the gunman.

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

Another student, Eddie, 18, added: “It was absolutely terrifying. I heard shots ringing out and they were unmistakably gunshots. I saw the guy."

Neighbours living next to the alleged shooter's £300,000 home in Crawley said he's a student at the college.

Dozens of armed cops stormed the site and searched classrooms, while a helicopter was seen flying overhead two hours after the 3.10pm attack.

Counter terror officers from Gatwick Airport were the first on the scene.

Video of the moment the alleged attacker was apprehended was posted on Snapchat with the caption: "Crawley on a mad one today."

It shows one man – reportedly the wounded teacher – pinning a second to the ground.

One parent said students were told to "duck on the floor" during the frightening incident.

A man living next door to the alleged gunman's home said: "He goes to the college.


"I saw him last night out walking his dog and he seemed happy. It’s shocking."

Vicki Illingworth,  Crawley College Principal, today praised the “courage, resilience and support” shown by her staff.

She 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.

“Our priority is and remains the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff. Counselling services are available for all students and staff.”

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