Moss Street Siege 17th June 1984
The Centre of Paisley was sealed off around Gilmour Street and Moss Street after one of the most dangerous, surprising and yet oddly amusing events to have taken place in Paisley occurred on the evening of Sunday 17th June, 1984, when three schoolboys broke in to Pitchers Sports Shop in Moss Street and Police were called.
When the boys realised they were cornered in the shop they laid siege to it and began firing an arsenal of weapons indiscriminately into the street. Over a Five Hour period the street around the shop was peppered with shots and an armed intervention unit from Glasgow, protected by Flak jackets and helmets, rushed to the scene. Apart from the large number of Police on the scene, Fire and Ambulance crews were also called and trains services through Gilmour Street Station were halted.
The shooting started around 20:30 when the fire alarm in the two story building was set off and Police cars were fired on as they arrived at the scene, one Bullet smashing the Blue Light on one vehicle and other cars and property were damaged. Shots were being fired through the First Floor Windows at everything that moved from the array of weapons which included Shotguns, Bolt Action Rifles and Air Guns. It was thought also that Elephant Guns were in the shops stock but it was believed that these weren't used. The stream of shots continued until 23:30 when there was a lull in the firing and Police attempted to negotiate by Telephone and Megaphone, however shooting began again just before Midnight. By 02:00 Police had successfully negotiated surrender and the boys were taken into custody. No shots had been fired by Police.
When they appeared at Court some months later Lord Wheatley , Lord Justice Clerk, sentenced two of the boys, aged 15 at the time of the offences, to three years and described the case as "almost unbelievable". At the time of sentencing one had turned 16 and was sent to a Young Offenders Institution, another to an Institution to be designated by the Secretary of State. The fate of the third boy, who was aged 14, was not reported and their names were withheld because of their ages. Charges against them had included escaping from Paisley Sheriff Court by means of climbing through a skylight whilst at an earlier hearing.