Eight people were being questioned last night in connection with an armed robbery in which a postmaster’s son Craig Hodson-Walker was shot dead.
The five men and three women were arrested in early-morning swoops at six homes in Birmingham yesterday in an operation involving 100-plus officers.
At one address in Shirley, Solihull, neighbours said police sawed through the front door to gain entry.
Four were detained on suspicion of the murder of 29-year-old Craig and the attempted murder of his father Ken who was shot in the leg in the raid at Fairfield Post Office and Stores, near Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, last Friday.
The others were being held on suspicion of assisting an offender.
Craig was shot in the chest as he tried to fend off four masked raiders at the village post office where he lived and worked alongside his parents, Ken and Judy, both 56. Ken Hodson-Walker remained in a stable condition in hospital last night. The Post Office has offered a £50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Mr Hodson-Walker’s killers.
Speaking following yesterday’s arrests, Supt Adrian Pass, of West Mercia Police, said: “Those arrested are being held at police stations across the West Mercia and West Midlands force areas. We would like to express thanks to the public and the media for their information and co-operation so far during this on-going operation.”
Two uniformed police officers yesterday stood alongside a cordoned-off property in Elmay Road in, Sheldon, Birmingham. Neighbours described how armed police swooped on a semi-detached property soon after 4am, forcing entry and arresting a man in his 30s.
One man, who did not want to be named, said his son had watched the dramatic scenes unfold from his bedroom window. He said: “I was asleep but my son woke me up just after 4am. He had heard the police shouting and banging down the door and saw them bring out a man and put him in the police van in handcuffs. There were a lot of police and a hell of a lot of guns.”
A police patrol car and a West Mercia Constabulary forensic investigation van were parked outside the address as forensic experts worked inside the house.
At a second address in Shirley Park Road, Shirley, police towed away a Vauxhall people carrier and a Ford Transit van yesterday afternoon. One resident, who did not want to be named, said: “I woke up when I heard the cars and vans pull up, there were at least half a dozen unmarked vehicles.”