Riot footage shows shots fired at police and helicopter

New CCTV footage of the riots in Birmingham shows police officers and a force helicopter being shot at.

The footage, which has been released by West Midlands police to encourage members of the public to come forward, shows a group of 30 to 40 young men rioting in the Newtown area of the city on the night of Tuesday 9 August.

The force said the group, all masked and wearing black clothing, caused extensive damage to the Barton Arms pub in Newtown and the surrounding area.

Police arrived at the scene at about 11.50pm, whereupon petrol bombs were thrown at a marked police car and 11 shots were fired at officers and a force helicopter.

An attempted murder and arson investigation has been launched and officers have appealed for anyone with information about the attacks to contact them.

A spokesman said a small amount of money was stolen from the pub, but the use of alcohol and petrol leads police to believe that the intention was to start a fire.

Chief Constable Chris Sims said: “Releasing footage that is so disturbing in nature is an unusual step for us as a force, however, the potential for serious harm, or worse, in this incident has led us to this decision.

“Eleven shots were fired at unarmed officers to enable disorder to continue, while petrol bombs were also thrown at officers who initially attended the scene.

“This footage shows seemingly co-ordinated criminal behaviour with no regard for people’s lives, whether it be through the setting of a fire, shooting at unarmed officers or shooting at the police helicopter.

“This investigation is being treated as attempted murder and arson, and I am only thankful that this is not a murder inquiry.

“This was not only police officers’ lives that were put at risk, but also members of the public who may have been passing by.”

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