Expats in Estepona flee for their lives as gun battle rages

Published:  3 Oct at 6 PM
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Mass panic and a stampede along the promenade of terrified expats, locals and tourists in the popular beachside resort followed gunshots outside a restaurant.

Estepona’s promenade and the popular restaurant location of Calle Real were taken over by a panic-stricken stampede as gunshots were heard coming from an eatery on the promenade. Brits and locals alike took refuge in restaurants and cafes, hoping the locked doors would protect them from injury or death and staying inside until police arrived and took control.

One British expatriate told local media she’d been locked in the popular Rincon Toscano for around 20 minutes until things quietened down. Speaking with a reporter from an English language newspaper, she described the scene, saying everyone is well aware of terrorist actions in Barcelona and Paris, and were terrified a similar attack was taking place. Others confirmed they’d seen Spanish police chasing two men, and the incident is now believed to have started on the pavement outside the Mr Noodles restaurant.

Later, a police report confirmed at least two, possibly four, hooded men had approached a male diner sitting outside the restaurant at around 10.45 pm that night. The man ran away but was caught in Plaza de Ortiz, with witnesses saying his assailants beat him up, hit his head with a gun barrel and forced him into a BMW X5 car. Another witness told police he’d heard gunshots just before he saw the grey car speeding away.

Police now believe the incident was a kidnapping, possible part of a rival gang’s settling of scores, and are continuing their investigation. At this point, nothing has as yet been confirmed and the investigation is ongoing.
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