J. CANO / H. BARBOTTA
Friday, 14 September 2018, 18:37
Extraordinary details of Monday's fatal shootout in an aparthotel outside Estepona between police from Marbella and a wanted 39-year-old British man have emerged.
The heavily-built suspect opened the door without looking, and surprised to see on his doorstep the three police officers who had been looking for him since midday, took the worst way out he could.
"Go, go, go!" Sean Hercules accompanied what police at least believe were those words with a hand gesture that they understood as an invitation for them to go inside.
Once inside, Hercules turned his back and went down the passage of room 21 of the Autosole aparthotel in the Cancelada area of Estepona, towards Marbella.
What followed was a hail of gunfire. Sources say up to 60 spent bullets were found afterwards. On some walls, forensic teams couldn't measure the diameter of each shot as they were so close together they had merged into one bigger hole in the plasterboard dividing the different rooms inside the small apartment.
According to first investigations, Hercules had got ahead of the two officers in the apartment's hallway -one officer waited by the door-, and run into the bedroom at the end. Police caught sight of two pistols and spare bullets magazines on the white sheets.
Sean was wanted not for his criminal record for drugs and firearms offences in the UK, but because of an incident earlier on Monday in Puerto Banús. After a car accident, he had been spotted getting out of a car with a gun and fleeing the scene. His documentation and a bullet were found inside. By 5pm police were outside his apartment.
The two officers in the passage knew to be ready but Hercules got to his guns on the bed first and started firing indiscriminately at them. Some bullets hit the ceiling bringing down the plasterboard. The two officers took cover behind kitchen furniture, firing back. The third ran into the bathroom.
Some 60 shots were fired and Hercules, reportedly, emptied two of the four magazines in the bedroom.
After a few moments, the man stopped firing but none of the officers approached him for fear he could start again. It was left to members of an armoured rapid reaction team to enter with shields and confirm Hercules's death.
A woman which the man had been linked to and who wasn't present at the time has told officers that he had been taking a lot of cocaine in the days leading up to the dramatic events on Monday. There was talk of paranoia. Apparently, a few months ago, Hercules had jumped from a second floor flat in Estepona for no apparent reason.
The three officers were slightly wounded. One was grazed by a spent bullet cartridge that bounced off a wall and suffered a burn on his forehead. Another had a bullet scrape his back and risked serious injury by a few millimetres, sources said. The phrase most heard from their colleagues afterwards was "congratulations for still being alive".
Police had already warned other residents in the hotel to stay inside ahead of entering the apartment, knowing the occupant could be armed. One youngster in a neighbouring apartment had a panic attack as the events unfolded.
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