Home Kent News Record label boss who fired guns from penthouse balcony ‘wanted attention’

Record label boss who fired guns from penthouse balcony ‘wanted attention’

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Original article from Kent Live

A record label boss who filmed himself firing handguns from his penthouse balcony wanted "attention'" from police, a jury has heard.

Michael Alunomoh, who describes himself as the CEO of Truth or Dare Records, posted live footage of himself shooting into the air from Marina Point East in Chatham Dockside onto his personal Instagram account.

Neighbours and passers-by heard shots from the top of the block of flats before seeing the 34-year-old pacing along his balcony in an agitated state at about 8.30am on April 22 last year.

Armed police were deployed and Alunomoh was arrested.

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Officers seized a number of weapons, including two Eagle, blank-firing 9mm self-loading pistols and a Camp assault rifle.

On the balcony were 75 shell casings, with a further five on the floor of the master bedroom.

Alunomoh denies three offences of possessing imitation firearms with intent to cause fear of violence.

He claims a voice he has heard in his head since childhood had told him to 'disturb the peace' that morning so police would arrest him and give him the treatment he needed.

But he denied when interviewed by officers that he wanted to scare people or had aimed the imitation guns anywhere other than into the air.

Residents say they heard shooting in the area

A jury at Maidstone Crown Court, Kent, was told the dad of one had telephoned police the previous evening saying he was not happy and that 'something was wrong'.

Prosecutor Dominic Connolly said witnesses watching from the ground or neighbouring apartment blocks were shocked and feared for their safety as the shooting occurred, with multiple 999 calls being made.

Some had initially assumed the banging sound was coming from building works.

However, the shots continued and they saw Alunomoh wearing bright yellow headphones and ranting from his balcony, firing numerous rounds – at times with guns in both hands – and striking a weapon against the railings.

Each time a gun was fired, a flash was seen from the muzzle.

Mr Connolly said Alunomoh also had an assault rifle slung across his shoulder, and could be heard shouting 'F*** the police' and 'Call the police'.

'Call the police, I'm going crazy'

At the start of the trial, he told the jury several people filmed Alunomoh on their mobile phones, while another, Giovanni Agneli, watched through binoculars from his flat opposite and was able to assist armed police as to what was happening inside and outside the apartment.

"Mr Agneli was woken up by what he described as a popping noise. He looked out and saw Mr Alunomoh on his balcony, waving his arms around and holding some sort of handgun," said the prosecutor.

"He saw Mr Alunomoh fire some more shots and shout 'Call the police, I'm going crazy'. Mr Agneli did just that, dialling 999.

Armed police stormed the penthouse and arrested the man

"He watched for some 20 or so minutes as Mr Alunomoh went in and out his apartment, firing the guns.

"Each time a gun was fired he could see a shell casing fall to the floor. At one point he saw him firing a gun in both hands shouting about Tupac which appears, from what Mr Alunomoh says later to police, was a reference to American rap artist Tupac Shakur.

"At one point he seemed to be dancing, and seemed agitated. Mr Agneli said it sounded on occasion like he was arguing with someone but Mr Agneli couldn't see anyone in the apartment with him.

"All while this was happening Mr Alunomoh was filming himself, on and off in parts, and subsequently posted clips of that filming onto an Instagram account called Flexing Mike."

The court heard that Alunomoh gave himself up to armed officers when ordered to do so.

As well as the shell casings, they found the weapons on and around two sun loungers.

Voice in his head

When interviewed by police, Alunomoh described how he was 'controlled' by the voice in his head, but would only be told to help, not hurt anyone.

The day before the shooting he had rowed with his girlfriend, who then left their flat, taking their three-year-old son with her.

He told police he spent the evening at the flat listening to music with his brother and several friends, including artists he had signed to his music label.

Michael Alunomoh describes himself as the CEO of Truth or Dare Records

At one point he phoned police, telling him there was 'something wrong in his head', said Mr Connolly, and he was told somebody would call him.

That never happened and when he woke the next morning, Alunomoh said he felt 'down and sad'.

"He said the voice told him 'I need you to disturb the peace'. He said the voice told him to fire until help came," said the prosecutor.

"He said he kept shooting and then the police came. He said he was scared and didn't want to die for the voice in his head.

"He denied trying to scare anyone and said that's why he was shooting into the sky. He remembered shouting for people to call the police."

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The jury was told three psychiatrists had all agreed Alunomoh was suffering from a mental health condition.

But in reaching their verdicts, they would have to decide whether by firing the weapons he intended people to fear violence, or was legally insane and therefore did not know what he was doing was wrong.

"If, as he was to say, by shooting the guns he wanted the police to come to help him, you may think that it follows that he must have intended people to fear unlawful violence would be used against them," said Mr Connolly.

"Why else would they call the police, the Crown ask. Why else would they react and why else would Mr Alunomoh have thought that he might be shot by police snipers as a result of what he was doing?"

Alunomoh told police he had been diagnosed with schizophrenia in Nigeria about a year or two before he came to the UK in 2013.

He said he had been prescribed medication but it had no effect.

The court heard he described collecting his weapons as a hobby and referred to them as 'men's toys'.

Of the incident that morning, he said the voice had told him to 'trust him' and that 'When you fire, they wil listen'.

"I was shooting. I was not killing anybody. I was just doing my own thing because it's still in my head. I kept shooting. Bang, bang, bang bang. Then the police came and I said 'You have to treat me, you have to help me'," he told the interviewing officers.

He denied his intention was to scare people. "If it was, I would be shooting, I would be aiming. I was just doing it to the sky and shouting 'Call the police'."

The trial continues.

Original Article