AN off-duty policeman thwarted a shooting after happening to walk by as a gunman opened fire in a Spanish supermarket yesterday.
Despite reports from Spanish and UK press, he is not believed to have shouted ‘Alahu Akbar’, the Arabic phrase for God is Great.
Several shoppers were inside when he fired the six shots into the air from his shotgun, alerting emergency services to the attack.
“I saw a person with an open backpack and a shotgun in his hand,” Perez said.
The gunman fired at Perez but stopped when he saw that he had a gun.
Perez was able to keep him at bay until back up arrived.
Customers hid for half an hour in terror and feared others were dead after hearing so many shots.
One witness said people were ‘very afraid’ and were in tears, not knowing if ‘there were people alive or dead’.
The gunman, who is believed to have psychological problems, is said to have eaten a banana after firing at off-duty cop Perez before dropping to the ground.
Pictures from inside the supermarket show a double-barrelled shotgun, believed to be the weapon used in the attack.
Other photos show the aftermath, with broken glass and debris covering the shop floor.
The attacker was able to be detained after he ran out of ammunition.
Police have confirmed that the shooter does not have known links to terrorism.
“He had no terrorist link at all”, said a police spokeswoman:
“It was not a robbery either. At one point in the video footage, he can be seen eating a banana and smoking a cigarette”.
The police have not made the video footage public or provided journalists with a copy.