Crawley College ‘gunman’ Sandijs Dreimanis, 18, appears in court charged after ‘roaming campus with fake gun and knife’

A COLLEGE "gunman" accused of roaming a campus with a fake gun and knife has appeared in court today.

Sandijs Dreimanis, 18, was in the dock at crown court this afternoon after students and staff fled Crawley College, West Sussex, in terror last month.

The suspected gunman, who was also allegedly armed with a knife, was waving the gun around and firing shots in the college car park.

He appeared before Lewes Crown Court today charged with multiple offences including possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence at the packed college on April 26.

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

Wearing grey sweatshirt and jogging pants, Dreimanis spoke to confirm his name and address.

He did not enter a plea and was remanded in custody – the case was adjourned until July 8.

It comes after the heroics of one teacher and their colleague, who were injured tackling an armed suspect, were lauded by police, and the college praised the actions of the emergency services in response to the incident.

Dozens of armed police, including counterterrorism officers from nearby Gatwick Airport, stormed the campus and searched classrooms, while a helicopter flew overhead. 

They called in support from police in Surrey, Kent and the Metropolitan Police force who attended, alongside dogs units. 

Police recovered a blank firing handgun and a knife after the suspect was arrested shortly after 3.20pm.

Dreimanis last appeared at Crawley Magistrates' Court wearing a grey jumper and a face mask.

He entered no pleas to the charges and the case was sent to Lewes Crown Court today.


It comes after frightened pupils in Crawley 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.

Vicki Illingworth, Crawley College principal, said following the incident: "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."

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