An off-duty soldier has been recognised for his bravery disarming a man with a firearm in Southampton Above Bar Street.
The incident occurred on the 16th of April last year, when Captain Karl Williams, 42, disarmed the attacker who threatened shoppers in the city centre. Capt Williams is now being awarded with the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery, granted for ‘bravery entailing risk to life and meriting national recognition.’
The Captain, who is a Quartermaster at 19 Tank Transport Squadron with the Royal Logistic Corps, disarmed and pinned the man to the ground before police arrived, also discovering that the firearm was in fact a replica.
The assailant, Scott Haynours, 48, was arrested and charged with possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence. At Southampton Crown Court in June last year, he was sentenced to 12 months in prison. After the incident, the crowd dispersed shaken but unharmed.
There have been a number of firearms incidents in the last year in Southampton. In July this year a man held a gun at staff in a Southampton Londis. The defendant was given a 12 month prison sentence which was suspended for 2 years. In September this year there were also claims of a man with a gun at Lloyds TSB, Above Bar Street, but when nobody was found on the premises, the two people believed to have made the claim were arrested on suspicion of wasting police time.
Whilst these incidents have either used BB guns or replicas, they have been very distressing for witnesses who have been left shaken and afraid.