A MASKED gunman who pointed an AK47 at school children and threatened to shoot before being disarmed by a “heroic” security guard has been jailed.
Sean Monger, 51, aimed the firearm at the heads of two boys, 11, and ordered them to lie down on the pavement outside a Tesco Express in Exeter, on November 14, last year.
In shocking scenes he also pointed the de-activated Kalashnikov at security guard Philip Weirs, who stepped in and disarmed him, thinking the gun was real and loaded.
Police have also released CCTV footage of Monger carrying the weapon as he made his way to the attack.
Judge Timothy Rose at Exeter Crown Court described Mr Weirs’ actions as “simply heroic”. The security guard has since suffered from PTSD and has had to leave his job.
Mr Weirs, 31, said: “I saw him coming around the corner with a gun in his hands, he took aim at three youths outside the store, shouting ‘get down’ at them and was threatening to shoot.
“I immediately saw it was an AK47 and I did think he was going to start shooting. I stepped in then he aimed the gun at me. I lunged forward and grabbed it and tried to get it off him.
“The gun looked and felt real as it was cold and made of metal. I knew there were other people around but it all happened so fast and I managed to restrain him. The police and victim care team have been brilliant and have really supported me.
“I was just doing my job, really, but was glad and relieved when the cops turned up.”
Monger bought the de-activated gun on the internet and police found a horde of other weapons at his home in Maple Road including three tasers, two shock batons, four knives and three masks.
He admitted using an imitation firearm to cause fear of violence and possession of prohibited weapons.
Monger was sentenced to four and half years in prison.
Judge Rose said: “I have been told of the very considerable distress and enormous anxiety you inflicted on your victims and how one girl ran home screaming and crying because her mother was still in the shop.
“The children thought you were about to shoot at them. Mr Weirs must be commended for his bravery and courage in the situation. He also thought he could be shot at any moment and you told him you were going to kill him.”
Adrian Chaplin, defending, said Monger had a drink problem and was downing a bottle of vodka a day. He had no memory of what happened but was ashamed and remorseful for the distress caused.