Record label boss who fired guns from balcony is detained
Record label boss who fired handguns from penthouse balcony because he thought he was the ‘reincarnation of rapper Tupac Shakur’ is detained in a psychiatric unit
- Michael Alunomoh, 35, fired blanks from Marina Tower East in Kent in lockdown
- He shouted ‘Call the police’, while listening to Tupac record ‘Hit ‘Em Up’
- The father-of-one said a voice since childhood told him to ‘disturb the peace’
- Mr Alunomoh’s cannabis use had been ‘a contributory factor to his downfall’
A record label boss who fired handguns from his penthouse balcony has been detained in a psychiatric unit.
Pictured: Mr Alunomoh
The music boss said he believed he was a reincarnation of US rapper Tupac Shakur during the incident un the first pandemic lockdown.
Michael Alunomoh, 35 who calls himself the CEO of Truth or Dare Records, posted a live video on his Instagram account ‘Flexing Mike’ where he fired blanks into the air from Marina Tower East in Chatham Dockside, Kent.
His manic shooting spree from the top of the flats terrified neighbours so armed police were deployed.
Agitated and ranting he paced along his balcony at about 8.30am on April 22 2020.
Wearing bright yellow headphones, he shot mulitple rounds – at times welding guns in both hands – and also hit a weapon against the railings.
Each time a gun was fired, a flash came from the muzzle of the gun.
Mr Alunomoh, who at one stage had an assault rifle slung across his shoulder, could shouted ‘F*** the police’ and ‘Call the police’, while making references to Tupac and listening to his record ‘Hit ‘Em Up’.
Michael Alunomoh (above) posted a clip of himself wielding guns and yelling ‘call the f***ing cops’ on Instagram, before shouting at the police gathered below ‘come on, come on, you’re mad’
When he was later examined by psychiatrists, the music mogul claimed to be Tupac’s reincarnation, as he appeared ‘disturbed and distressed’, a court heard.
When police arrested him they seized three imitation firearms – two Eagle, blank-firing 9mm self-loading pistols and a Camp assault rifle.
They found 75 shell casings on his balcony and five on the floor of his master bedroom.
Mr Alunomoh, who has no previous convictions, plead guilty in January this year to three offences of possessing firearms with intent to cause fear of violence.
The father-of-one previously denied the charges and stood trial last year but the jury was discharged before reaching verdicts after he became ‘extremely unwell’.
Sentencing was adjourned for psychiatric reports, with Mr Alunomoh appearing at Maidstone Crown Court, Kent, today via a link with the Allington Centre, in Dartford,
He was transferred there, a low-level secure psychiatric unit, in October last year.
Following his arrest, Mr Alunomoh said a voice he has heard since childhood told him to ‘disturb the peace’ so police would detain him and get him treatment.
The court heard he has since been diagnosed with a schizoaffective disorder but his condition had improved.
Barry Kogan, defending the music CEO, said Mr Alunomoh’s cannabis use was ‘a contributory factor to his downfall’.
‘He wishes to offer his sincere apologies to all those, particularly the members of the public, who were affected by his actions,’ he added.
What is schizoaffective disorder?
Schizoaffective disorder is a condition where symptoms of both psychotic and mood disorders are present together during one episode (or within a two weeks of each other).
Episodes can vary in length.
Some people have repeated episodes, but this does not necessarily happen for everybody
‘He is a decent family man and devoted to his son, who is sadly autistic, and has many good qualities which have been severely affected by his mental health.
‘But he tells me he is in good health now, taking his medication and there is hope for the future.’
Mr Alunomoh has been in custody since the incident and has therefore served the equivalent of a four-year and four-months sentence on remand.
Ordering that he be detained under the Mental Health Act for ongoing treatment, Judge Julian Smith said the fear Alunomoh caused ‘could only be imagined’.
‘These were realistic imitation firearms that explain the anxiety, distress and concern caused. They fired blank rounds and frightened a lot of people that day,’ he added.
‘What is perfectly clear is that this behaviour has its origins in his disturbed mind state and mental illness.’
Mr Alunomoh’s eventual release will be determined by doctors responsible for his care.
At his trial in May last year, the jury was told that those watching the shooting from the ground and neighbouring blocks feared for their safety, as multiple 999 calls were made.
Some had initially assumed the banging sound was coming from building works.
Several filmed the action on their mobile phones, while one witness, Giovanni Agneli, watched through binoculars from his flat opposite, assisting armed police as to what was happening inside and outside the apartment.
He denied wanting to kill or scare anyone that morning, telling police he would have been aiming his guns if he had as around 50 shots were heard being fired from the balcony by shocked passers-by
Mr Alunomoh later described collecting weapons as a hobby and referred to them as ‘men’s toys’
Armed police arrested the father in Chatham, Kent, where terrified locals fled for cover while shots rang out
‘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 prosecutor Dominic Connolly at trial.
‘He saw Mr Alunomoh fire some more shots and shout ‘Call the police, I’m going crazy’. Mr Agneli did just that, dialling 999.
‘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…..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 he 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 sunloungers.
When interviewed by police, Alunomoh described being ‘controlled’ by the voice in his head.
He said 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.
The next morning the voice had told him ‘I need you to disturb the peace’, Alunomoh said, and that he had ‘to fire until help came’.
Armed police move in moments before he is arrestedduring the first pandemic lockdown
Ftaher-of one Michael Alunomoh filmed himself shooting from his balcony in Chatham, Kent, at panicked people below during lockdown
He denied trying to scare anyone and said he fired into the sky while shouting for people to call police.
Mr Alunomoh later described collecting weapons as a hobby and referred to them as ‘men’s toys’.
But he denied wanting to kill or scare anyone that morning, telling police he would have been aiming his guns if he had.
‘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,’ he explained
‘I was just doing it to the sky and shouting ‘Call the police’.’
The jury heard three psychiatrists had all agreed Mr Alunomoh was suffering from a mental health condition.
He told police he had been diagnosed with schizophrenia in Nigeria about a year or two before he came to the UK in 2013.
The father said he had been prescribed medication but it had no effect on him.
Mr Alunomoh had been supported in court at previous hearings by his long-term girlfriend. It was said he planned to return to his family in Birmingham on his release.
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