Last night two stolen copies of the new Harry Potter book were back under lock and key, a reporter was reliving an extraordinary experience and a shot had been fired during an operation to recover the books.
Two men were being questioned by police about the copies of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which are believed to have been taken from carefully-guarded stocks awaiting publication next month.
The incident happened on Thursday when two unarmed officers attended a routine call in Kettering, Northamptonshire — only to hear a gunshot.
A spokesman for Northamptonshire Police said last night that detectives did not have a clear idea what had happened, but John Askill, a reporter for The Sun, described his experience: the shot was fired over his head as he tried to make off with a copy of the novel without handing over a £50,000 “fee” for the stolen goods.
Earlier he had met two men in a one-bedroom flat to investigate their offer to supply the sought-after novel in exchange for money.
“I looked down the barrel of a gun — and thought I was about to die for the sake of Harry Potter,” he writes in The Sun today. “For two horrific minutes I pleaded with the gunman not to shoot. Then he fired over my shoulder and into the air. I headed straight for my car and drove off, still shaking, leaving the two men with Harry Potter’s secrets.”
Luckily for Mr Askill, police had already got wind of the negotiations and had sent unarmed officers to investigate.
After the shot was fired two armed response units arrived at the scene.
Saturday, June 04, 2005
Armed Police in Harry Potter Raid...
From the Times: