Holidaymakers mistake Benidorm gunshots for terrorist attack

The police finally stopped the car by shooting at its tyres four times

Holidaymakers at Benidorm’s Regente Hotel were on high alert on Sunday afternoon after gunshots were heard coming from the main thoroughfare to Levante Beach, Av Ametlla de Mar.

One resident, who was sitting around the pool, claimed in a Facebook post to have been told by hotel staff that police had shot a terrorist, but whilst the claims remained unconfirmed visitors are said to have been on a state of high alert as staff were urged to find out further information.

What the holidaymakers had heard were the tyres being shot out by police on a stolen car, said to be fleeing through Benidorm following the drivers involvement in a violent robbery, committed in the nearby town of Altea.

The car was stolen in Altea on Saturday night and subsequently used on Sunday morning in the town during a violent robbery.  After pushing his victim to the floor the robber then escaped the scene, but only after running the car over his victim as he attempted to drive away.

Local Police were told that the wing mirror was broken during to the incident, which alerted the Benidorm Police to the vehicle as it was driving down the Rincón de Loix at mid-day Sunday. Initially chase was given by several police motorcyclists, one of which was hit by the car.

The police finally stopped the car by shooting at its tyres four times. A local police car was also damaged during the chase, as it brought the robber to a halt.

A man was subsequently arrested who, the police said had a long record of criminal activity, during a statement later in the day,

Benidorm’s Councillor for Security, Lorenzo Martínez, said that the work done by the agents to stop this man in such a short time was excellent.

The local police union also highlighted “the great work carried out by Benidorm’s Local Police” saying that “they are performing marvellously despite the inadequate means with which they are provided”.

The union said that the “three agents and the officer who intervened in the arrest should immediately be nominated for a police award” which the Department of Security said that it will initiate in the coming days.