I let a guy into my house because a psychopath was trying to kill him

He said someone was trying to shoot him

It was meant to be a quiet night in studying at home. 

So imagine Ben Powell’s horror when he heard gunshots and a stranger barged into his living room at 1am shouting someone was trying to shoot him dead.

The 21-year-old Birmingham student and his housemates were terrified at first before armed police arrived to take the man away.

The residents

Ben and his housemates

The boys' lounge

The boys’ lounge

The Birmingham student said: “It was 1am and we were just working when we heard banging on the door. I opened and a six foot tall black guy came barging in yelling ‘someone’s trying to kill me, they’re shooting at me.’

“He was in a state of shock and paranoia, pacing about the lounge really erratically.

“My housemates and I thought, ‘Here we go, we’re going to be another Selly Oak [where Birmingham students live] crime statistic.’


The hallway


The door

“We got him to sit to calm him down but he didn’t want to drink the glass of water we offered, saying it was poisoned. He asked us if we were involved in the shooting.

“He was dressed shabbily and for some reason said he was on the dole.

“The police came after ages and they were armed with huge pistols, wearing body armour and the full gear.

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Police cordoned off the area in Birmingham

Wardwards Lane, where the alleged shooting took place

Wardwards Lane, where the alleged shooting took place

“They arrived saying they were responding to other places who reported the gunshots.

“The police took the guy away to identify where he was shot at.

“The man must have run through gardens to get to us. To be honest, when he first came in, I thought, ‘here we go, this is it, something terrible is going to happen.

“When we realised he wasn’t a threat it was less scary but still surreal.”

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His housemate Matthew Chapman, a second year History student said: “Our first thought was that he was going to mug us or rob us, so we were all pretty on edge because he came barging in.

“He kept screaming ‘help they’re going to kill me’.

“My housemate, Henry Bragg, confronted and pushed him and told him to get out, but he looked really panicked and genuine and after he explained himself, (swearing on his daughter’s life) we realised he telling the truth.”

Ben and friends in happier times

Ben and friends in happier times

“We sat him down and tried to calm him down, but he didn’t seem to be able to calm down, and kept accusing us of being in on the shooting.

“After about an hour and ringing the police about 3 times, they finally arrived.

“About 5 of them came in, all armed, full armour the lot. They came in and basically confirmed there had been a shooting.

“You hear all these stories about things happening in Selly Oak but when this happened we actually realised how easily it can happen.”

A police spokesman confirmed: “No-one has been injured and the area is cordoned off while officers continue to investigate the allegation. Police are working hard to reduce disruption to the public.”

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