Teenager charged after armed incident at UK college

LONDON (AP) — A teenager has been charged after students and staff at a college in southern England were forced to evacuate earlier this week following reports of gunshot fire on campus.

Sandijs Dreimanis, 18, appeared in court Wednesday charged with possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, assault and possessing a bladed article on school premises.

Significant numbers of armed police were called to Crawley College in West Sussex, south of London, on Monday afternoon after authorities received reports of shots being fired there.

Students were evacuated with their hands on their heads. A teacher and a support staff member suffered minor injuries while tackling the suspect, and police seized a blank firing handgun and a knife at the scene.

Police said the incident was not being treated as terrorism-related and no one else was being sought in connection with it. The college’s principal, Vicki Illingworth, said the college community was “shaken,” but she praised the rapid response of emergency services and the two injured staff members.

Dreimanis entered no pleas to the charges Wednesday. He was remanded in custody and expected to appear at a further hearing on May 26.

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