Pub row leads to shooting

A man was shot in the leg at point-blank range after a row over a pool match in a Norfolk pub descended into chaos.

A man was shot in the leg at point-blank range after a row over a pool match in a Norfolk pub descended into chaos.

Eyewitnesses report seeing two men arguing over the pool table at The Two Brewers pub, St Nicholas Street, Diss, late on Saturday night.

At 12.30am, as time was called and the pub emptied, one of the men - a shopkeeper aged in his 30s - allegedly went to his premises and returned shortly afterwards brandishing an air rifle.

He is then said to have threatened the man with whom he was arguing with the gas-powered weapon before shooting him in the leg.

The victim, a local man in his late 20s known as Yorkie, needed hospital treatment for severe bruising. He was only saved from more serious injuries after the metal pellet first hit his keys, severely denting them.

Doormen at the Two Brewers seized the gun and prevented the attacker from leaving until police arrived, while barstaff gave Yorkie medical treatment.

Most Read

Trina Wigby, the pub's landlady, said: “They had an argument in here and the bloke left just before we were shutting to get his gun. Then at kicking-out time he returned and started waving it around outside.

“I didn't see the shooting because I stayed in the pub but I was told he had this big powerful air pistol with a silencer attached. Plenty of people saw it and I don't think many could believe what was happening.

“When the bloke got shot he was screaming in pain but it would've been far worse if the bullet hadn't hit his keys first. It looked like a pretty bad argument but whatever it was over, there was no need for that.”

Mrs Wigby, 42, said that the man with the air rifle had been given a lifetime ban from her pub and would now go before the town's new pubwatch committee, where he could potentially be permanently banned from all licensed premises in Diss.

Another eyewitness, who asked not to be named, said: “The argument was over a pool table. Whether it was over who won the game or who had put money down to play next, I don't know.

“They were having a serious argument about it though - but we were all amazed when he came back with a gun, no one could believe he was taking it that seriously.”

Insp Adam Hayes, south Norfolk's police chief, said there had been high-visibility patrols in Diss over recent weekends led by himself, and officers had been on the scene within 10 minutes of the shooting.

He said: “We have had an incredibly positive response from licensees and from members of the public who have been really pleased to see us and judging by how quiet it has been on recent weekends, I think we have had a deterrent effect.

“We have made some arrests and issued fixed penalty notices where it has been appropriate.

“There was an incident in Diss in the early hours of Sunday where a man was brandishing an air pistol in St Nicholas Street and we were able to respond very quickly indeed to this - door supervisors had already detained the individual concerned and we were on scene within ten minutes to arrest him.”

The shopkeeper was questioned by police and has now been released on bail pending further enquiries. Eyewitnesses who have not yet given a statement are asked to call Diss police station on 0845 456 4567.