The BBC reports this morning
A man hailed by police as a hero after he was shot in the chest while trying to stop robbers attacking a security guard has undergone surgery. Adam Mapleson, 24, intervened as the guard and her colleague were held at gunpoint in Rayleigh, Essex.
Mr Mapleson is still seriously ill after being injured by the robbers, who mugged the guards as they loaded a cash machine on Friday morning.
The robbers are believed to have got away with tens of thousands of pounds. However, security experts have said that if they try to force open the box the money is in, the notes will become soaked in a red indelible dye, rendering them useless.
The raiders escaped in a Ford Escort, after the raid. It was later found abandoned in Eastcheap, less than a mile away. It is believed they may have got into another vehicle after dumping the white Escort. Parts of the raid were caught on CCTV, which detectives hope will help them identify the raiders.
Det Supt Michael Field, of the British Transport Police, said Mr Mapleson had put himself at great risk. “He was heroic, there is no doubt about it,” he said. “He went to the aid of a female guard who was being robbed. He put his life on the line.”
The guards, who performed first aid on the man who helped them, were uninjured in the raid but left badly shaken. Det Supt Field said the robbers were “reckless, very dangerous” and “appear not to have any regard for human life”.
It is understood the man who fired the gun was wearing white or cream trainers. He is said to have fired two shots. Police said they had located several key witnesses and their investigation was currently focused on the Essex area, although it could be expanded.
We’re sure that everyone’s thoughts , hopes and prayers are for the Mapleson family today.
An editorial in the Sun this morning probably sums up the public feeling best:
Hero and zero
IN a split second outside an Essex railway station, we see the best and worst of humanity.
A brave commuter instinctively tries to stop armed men robbing a woman security guard of a cash box.
To the robber, he?s not a person, just an obstacle. With an indifference to human life that seems the sickness of our age, he pumps a bullet into the young man.
Hero Adam Mapleson is left fighting for his life ? a life worth a thousand times that of the monster who shot him.
We pray he recovers to see his attacker locked away for good.
Update : The Guardian reports some good news:
Shot have-a-go raid hero improving
Saturday May 26, 2007 2:08 PM
A have-a-go hero who was shot after intervening in an armed robbery has regained consciousness, police said.Rail commuter Adam Mapleson went to the aid of a female security guard at Rayleigh, Essex, at 7.15am on Friday.
The 24-year-old was shot in the chest by the attackers and underwent an operation in hospital.
On Saturday, a British Transport Police spokeswoman said his condition had improved. “Adam is in a comfortable and slightly improved condition,” she said.
“He has regained consciousness overnight but remains in the high dependency unit at Southend Hospital.” She said his family remain at his bedside.