Two shot on British nuclear submarine…

April 9, 2011


A deadly gun rampage on a nuclear submarine ended when the killer was overpowered by a council leader visiting the vessel.

Royston Smith was in the control room with fellow dignitaries when the renegade sailor opened fire with an assault rifle, killing one officer and seriously wounding another.

Last night the 46-year-old described the extraordinary scenes on HMS Astute, a £1.2billion attack submarine.

‘A guy appeared in his gear,’ he said. ‘He had all his body armour and camo on and was carrying a weapon, not a handgun, an SA80.

‘The first two shots I heard, I didn’t see. Three and four were reasonably close. Fortunately most people were out of the way.

‘He was stood in the doorway. I was about five yards away. I didn’t think about it but took a decision that if I didn’t stop him I might get hit or other people might get hit.

‘I just charged at him, and pushed him against the wall. I got hold of his weapon and had a tussle.’

Mr Smith, who served in the RAF as a mechanic, said the gunman made no noise during the struggle.

‘I was shouting a bit. That wasn’t successful so I threw him, charged him against the other wall,’ he added. ‘I managed to pull the rifle away from him.

‘In the first tussle he let off shot number five. I felt something but it didn’t hurt. There were about five or six shots in total.

‘I took the gun and threw it to my left under a table out of his reach.’

Schoolchildren – aged 14 to 16 and on a visit to the vessel in Southampton Docks – ran for cover when the shooting broke out.

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