A 91-year-old man was flung to the ground as gunmen tried to escape police in Edgware - just days before he witnessed an attempted armed robbery.
The elderly man, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Times Series he “feels very lucky” to have narrowly escaped harm during the “mad” incidents.
The man was walking in Broadhurst Avenue with a friend at approximately 12pm on Saturday when a police officer pushed him to the ground warning him to take cover.
He said: “All of a sudden I heard bang, bang, bang then the police officer ran after this fellow holding a gun – it all happened in a matter of seconds. There were police cars and a helicopter overhead.
“I couldn’t believe it was happening.”
Officers had attempted to stop a silver Peugeot 307 driving southbound on the M1 near Junction four.
After police chased the car off the motorway, it eventually came to a halt in Broadhurst Avenue, where two men got out and shot at police officers before fleeing the scene.
Gunmen shot at police in Broadhurst Avenue, Edgware
Meanwhile a third man, who is believed to have been kidnapped, was found inside the vehicle. Nobody was injured in the incident.
The 91-year-old said: “I think God was with me at that moment – I didn’t feel panicky or hysterical. But it was certainly an experience I never want to have again.”
It was an experience the 91-year-old almost did relive. At 10am yesterday morning, he was in Barclays Bank in Station Road when a man brandishing a gun came in.
The elderly man said: “I was having a nice chat with the cashier when a man came in shouting and screaming with a gun in his hand. Everyone got very panicked, but I didn’t – I don’t know why.
“Someone got the man to the ground and they held him there until police came.
“I don’t know what has happened to Edgware. It used to be a beautiful place to live but now it’s changed beyond recognition.
“I’m an elderly gentleman but I’ve never experienced anything like this weekend – and I don’t want to ever again.”
The attempted robbery took place at Barclays bank in Station Road, Edgware
Police recovered £1,000 in cash and an imitation gun, and the suspect was arrested and taken to north London police where he is currently in custody.
On Sunday afternoon, officers arrested a man in his 30s in connection with the incident in Broadhurst Avenue, although they are yet to trace the second suspect, who is described as a black man.