He pointed the gun at my chest and said 'Get out': Shopper describes terrifying run-in with Morrisons gunman moments before he was shot by police


Wounded: Tomas Uptas who was shot in the arm by police in Morrisons

Wounded: Tomas Uptas who was shot in the arm by police in Morrisons

A man who walked into a supermarket brandishing a gun was shot by police after they were alerted by a brave shopper who confronted him.

Lithuanian migrant Tomas Uptas is believed to have headed to Morrisons with a replica pistol after attacking his girlfriend Loreta Raupiene, 46, in a nearby flat they shared.

Police are waiting to question him on suspicion of murder when he recovers from his wound.

The 32-year-old burst into Morrisons on Thursday evening with a replica pistol terrifying customers.

Brave IT worker Phillip Sharratt, 25, confronted the gunman before warning shoppers to keep their distance.

"I was buying beer when I saw this man staggering," Mr Sharratt said.

"He walked up to me and pointed the gun at my chest and growled 'Get Out' at me in a heavy European accent.

"I didn't know if the gun was real so I said 'No' and carried on shopping. But then I saw him walk up to another couple and brandish this gun, so I thought I ought to call the police.

"I was warning people to stay away," Mr Sharratt told The Sun.

He said Mr Uptas then grabbed a bottle of wine and made a seat out of a pile of toilet rolls but police soon arrived.

Morrisons shooting

Aftermath: The abandoned handgun lies on the floor of Morrisons after police shot an armed man during a stand-off

Morrisons supermarket

Frightening: Around 60 people were in the store at the time of the incident

Mr Sharratt said: "They were shouting at him to put down his gun and get on the floor, but he ignored them. The next thing I knew there was a very loud gunshot and the cops had shot him in the arm. He didn't say a word - he must have been absolutely blitzed."

Staff at the Morrisons supermarket in Canterbury, also described how Uptas, a fruit packer, burst in on Thursday evening and started waving the gun.

A cashier said: "Suddenly a police team appeared and there was a shout of 'Get down, get down!' Then there was a shot."

Uptas was hit in the arm and was taken to hospital.

Later police raided his room at the Ambassador Guest House and found the woman's body in the hostel room they shared. She had been attacked.

Kent police said she had not died from a gunshot wound and a post-mortem is due to take place.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission started an investigation after the shooting, but they have now passed the inquiry back to Kent police.

Shopper Pamela Elvidge, 56, said he had told her to 'move along, move along'.

'I thought it was a toy gun because you don't expect someone to be walking round carrying a real gun in a supermarket,' the cleaner added.

'He was scruffy and was wearing an anorak and had brown hair.

'I would say he was aged between 30 to 35. He was holding the gun under the sleeve of his coat.

'We went to pay for our shopping and then went to the cigarette aisle and then there was this almighty gunshot sound, and then the staff all told us to get out of the shop.

'There were about 50 to 60 people in there at the time, not many, which was just as well really as it was a pretty frightening experience to go through.

'I heard just the one shot but it was quite loud. We all went out into the car park but we couldn't leave.

'As we waited, we saw someone being brought out on a stretcher but I couldn't say whether it was a man or a woman as it was dark.

'I don't think I'll be shopping there for a while.'

The suspect was taken from the Ten Perch Road store to hospital where he is in a non-life threatening condition.

Morrisons Canterbury

Busy: The Morrisons store in Canterbury where police shot a man who had been seen waving a handgun

Bruno Jheemla, caretaker of the Ambassador Guest House, said the pair lived on the first floor in a bedsit below his own room.

He said they had seemed like a 'nice couple'.

He said: 'This is all such a shock. Everyone is really shocked by this.'

He added that Loreta - who was not working - had lived in the run-down guest house for a year but split up with her husband Virgilijus in the summer before her new lover Tomas moved in.  

victoria road

The building is predominantly occupied by Eastern European nationals including Poles, Lithuanians and Romanians, Mr Jheemla added.

Another resident described Tomas as a 'scary man who drank a lot'.

'He had tattoos all over his arm - he drank a lot, mainly cider, and a few people were scared of him.'

Neighbours described the hotel as a 'doss house'.

Doreen Green, 65, said police surrounded the building just after 1am and 'barricaded' the end of the street to traffic.

'It was all very quiet - there wasn't any shouting, just lots of police milling around,' she said.

'They were going into the Ambassador Guest House - they were all down the side of it.'

'There's been quite a fuss over the place,' she said. 'It sounds a lot posher than it actually is.

'We have made lots of complaints to the council about the place because there's always trouble there.

Rundown: A woman's body was found at The Ambassador Guest House, in Canterbury, Kent

Rundown: A woman's body was found at The Ambassador Guest House, in Canterbury, Kent

Canterbury

Search: Forensic officers work inside the bedsit where the body was found

'I'm really not surprised this has happened.'

She added the building is just a five-minute walk to Morrisons.

A police spokesman said: 'Armed officers attended the Morrisons store in response to a number of reports from members of the public about a man with a firearm.

'During the investigation of these reports, officers shot and injured a male. No one else was injured and a weapon has been recovered from the scene.

He said that the death of the woman found Victoria Road was being treated as suspicious.

'We are carrying out a forensic examination at the address,' he added. 'Officers are waiting to question a man in hospital who is receiving treatment for a gunshot wound to his arm.'

This is standard practice when armed police shoot someone in the course of their duties.

A Morrisons spokesman said: 'We can confirm that there was an incident and that we are helping police with their inquiries. The police are fully investigating the incident.'

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