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Shotgun fired in raid on Wibsey bank
A manhunt was under way by police last night for a gang of robbers who fired a shot in front of terrified staff during a raid at a Bradford bank.
One of them fired what is believed to be a shotgun.
No-one was injured and the gang fled empty-handed in a green four-wheel drive Mitsubishi Pajero.
Detective Chief Inspector Peter Craig, of Bradford South police, who is leading the hunt, deplored the use of a firearm.
“This was clearly a frightening experience for all those who witnessed this incident,” he said.
“Thankfully no-one was injured, however, it is a concern that these men were prepared to use a loaded weapon.
“The use of firearms in our city is unacceptable and we are working hard to trace those responsible.
“CCTV inquiries are taking place and searches for the green 4x4 getaway vehicle are being conducted.
“People may have seen this in the local area either prior or following the incident. If you know of its location, let us know.”
Witnesses in the area also told of their shock that a shot had been fired in the bank.
Natalie Conway, 25, of Wibsey, said: “I heard a big bang and thought someone had thrown a really icy snowball.
“My colleague said it was definitely a gunshot. Armed police and the helicopter were straight there.”
Former Wibsey man Brian Kilmartin, 55, who now lives in Cyprus but is back in Bradford for a short time, said: “I think it is disgusting. It’s a surprise and very scary. My mum lives in Wibsey, so it is scary.”
One man who works opposite the bank, said he saw armed police arrive on the scene. He said: “I saw the police pull up in a great big Land Rover with their machine guns.”
Another resident, shopping in the nearby Co-op, said: “It’s getting like the east end of London round here.”
A 27-year-old woman, who did not want to be named, said: “It does scare you a bit. People will have been in that bank when it happened – what if someone got hit? These type of people don’t think about the consequences.”
Another man who did not want to be named was trying to find his nephew who had been in the bank at the time of the raid. He said: “We are just trying to find out where he is and if he is okay.”
Bradford Council leader David Green, a Wibsey ward councillor, urged anyone with information about the robbers to contact police.
“I’m concerned for the staff and the local community. It’s not something that any of us would have expected in the village,” said Coun Green.
“I hope the police get the full support of everybody in the local community to catch the individuals involved.
“We, as local councillors, will do everything we can to help police catch the individuals and support anybody who has been affected by it.”
One man, who did not want to be named, was on his way home and said he lived 50 yards from the bank.
He said: “Desperate people do desperate things. It doesn’t scare me and I don’t think it has ever happened before.”
Another man said: “It is a surprise but bad guys will always be able to get guns.”
Witnesses or anyone with information should call Bradford South CID on the non emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.