A group of yobs shooting a BB gun in the street came face to face with the real thing – after police swooped armed with submachine guns.
The mob of two boys and three girls sparked terror in a town centre when they brandished their lookalike pistol and began shooting at a building.
But worried 999 operators sent in the marksmen armed with Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine-guns – capable of firing up to 800 rounds-per-minute.
Officers pinned the youngsters down and handcuffed them before establishing the weapon shot ball bearings.
The scenes were captured by professional cameraman Patrick Bishop, 45, who was walking past when the swoop unfolded in Plymouth, Devon.
He said: “A police car came to a screaming stop, two officers got out armed with guns and I just reached for my mobile phone.
”By the time I’d got it ready they had the kids on the floor.
”I know they have to take firearm reports seriously, but it was still a shock because it’s not normally something you see in the centre of Plymouth.”
Following the incident on January 10 three girls were later returned home and the two boys, both aged 17, were arrested on suspicion of a public order offence.
One was dealt with by restorative justice while no action was taken against the other.
Devon and Cornwall Police issued a warning that anyone carrying weapons – fake or real – would come face to face with heavily armed officers.