A dangerous male who recklessly endangered the lives of police officers by firing a double-barrelled shotgun out of a window (scroll down for video) while trying to evade arrest in Castle Cary will now spend the next 29 years behind bars.
Daniel Hannam, aged 33, was convicted by a jury this week of endangering the lives of police officers during the shocking shooting incident in Park Street on Wednesday 23rd January 2019.
Hannam admitted the charges of possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, making use of a gun with intent to resist arrest, attempted kidnap and attempted burglary.
He also admitted to an armed robbery at a Co-op in Mudford Road, Yeovil on Thursday 17th January.
During that incident, Hannam threatened staff with the shotgun.
At Bristol Crown Court today (12th November) Mr Justice Soole sent Hannam to prison for 24 years and added a further five years which will be spent on licence.
During the hearing, the judge expressed his admiration for the bravery of the officers who were involved in trying to detain Hannam.
Mr Justice Soole awarded the officers a Crown Court Commendation to five firearms officers as well as to the team of dedicated investigators who bought Hannam to justice.
CC Nikki Watson said:
“These five firearms officers were involved in a fast-moving and highly dangerous operation.
“We’re immensely proud of the professionalism and bravery they showed on that night, as well as the wider firearms team and all those involved in the response.
“They are a credit to the police service – as are the entire team who investigated Daniel Hannam’s escalating series of criminal offences.
“Firearms officers are highly skilled, trained and dedicated to their role.
“They move towards danger when people are running from it. They are ready to respond to keep the public safe, and on the evening of these shootings, these officers went above and beyond the call of duty.
“The body-worn video footage of the incident and the photos of the damage caused to a police vehicle are testament to the danger they were in, and it’s only by chance that no-one was seriously injured or worse.”
Two of the firearms officers who were involved in the shooting incident have spoken about how the events have had a lasting impact on them.
Information led the officers to attend a house in Park Street, where they provided immediate cover for their colleagues who were trying to get into the property to arrest Hannam.
While the officers were outside the house, an officer alerted two of his colleagues to a “twitching” movement at an upstairs window before Hannam fired a double-barrelled shotgun out of an upstairs window
To protect the identity of the officers, necessary to ensure that their future operational duties are not compromised, the two officers who have written about what happened were referred to as ‘IX’ and ‘IC’.
IX said: “Daniel Hannam was in no doubt why we were at that property. We repeatedly tried to engage and issue challenges to him, offering him every opportunity to give himself up peacefully.
“We were protecting our colleagues who were trying to get inside and arrest him. In a matter of what felt like milliseconds, the top window opened, and he fired a double-barrelled shotgun – it’s something you aren’t going to forget in a hurry.
“I thought this is it; I’m going to die. It’s as simple as that.”
His colleague IC, who is now with Devon and Cornwall Police, added:
“Very, very quickly, all hell broke loose. There was a muzzle flash, and I heard a blast. I believed I’d been shot and I didn’t know whether IX had been shot.
“I returned fire to neutralise the threat as we are trained to do.
“It happened very, very quickly. My mind was telling me there was no way that he’d missed and it was adrenaline stopping me from feeling the injury.
“Hannam made the decision to do what he did.
“At no point did we realise anyone else was in that address which is quite haunting in hindsight. There’s a lot of ‘what ifs’ – I do think about that a lot. Innocent people could have been injured or worse, as a result of his actions.”
IX added: “The vast majority of firearms officers will go through their career without firing a live firearm. It’s something you have to make peace with and park. I can still re-live that incident blow by blow.
“It’s ingrained on my mind and will be for the rest of my career. I’m proud we did our jobs. I’m proud we didn’t get hurt, and I’m proud we continue to serve the public by doing this role.”
IC concluded: “You have to find a way to deal with the impact of something like this. Police officers have to be robust.
“It doesn’t mean it’s easy to deal with when it happens.
“Do I wish that firearms incident didn’t happen, yes – but ultimately we are there to protect the public and each other.
“I want to continue being a firearms officer as I want to be the person who keeps moving forward to deal with dangerous offenders when others can’t, in order to keep the public and my colleagues safe.”
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