A gang “lured” police to a burning Birmingham pub so they could shoot at them during last year’s riots, a court heard.
At least 12 shots were fired at officers by masked and hooded men near the Bartons Arms in Aston on the night of August 9, Birmingham Crown Court was told.
Six men and two 17-year-olds have all denied charges of riot, violent disorder, possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life and reckless arson.
Andrew Lockhart, prosecuting, said: “These defendants carried out a series of attacks they knew a large number of police officers would be deployed to deal with.
“It was their aim to get large numbers of police officers out on the streets where they could be attacked. It was their common purpose.”
Mr Lockhart said they had “seized the opportunity” presented by the disorder.
He said around 30 people, with their faces covered and some carrying petrol bombs, broke into the pub and threw furniture into the road to create a “makeshift barricade.”
One of the bombs was then ignited which started a fire on the ground floor.
Mr Lockhart said a number of staff were upstairs at the time and their lives had been put at risk.
He said an attempt was made to “carjack” a taxi driver who pulled up outside and other premises were also attacked, including the Elbow Room nightclub, so more furniture could be added to the barricade.
Mr Lockhart said a second large group then arrived and a “cheer” went up.
“Naturally the police were alerted and a large number of riot vans drew up full of police officers,” he said. “This is exactly what was anticipated by the defendants. They were ready for the police.” He went on: “As these police officers deployed, some of these defendants moved away.
“As they moved away firearms were used by a significant number of the group. At least 12 shots were fired towards police officers.
The evidence will show at least four firearms were fired.”
Mr Lockhart said officers took cover and a group was then followed by a police helicopter before splitting up.
The defendants are Jermaine Lewis, 27, of Summerton Road, Oldbury; Nicholas Francis, 26, of Thetford Road, Great Barr; Joyah Campbell, 19, of Hanover Close, Aston; Tyrone Laidley, 20, of Chadsmoor Terrace, Nechells; Wayne Collins, 24, from Luton, Bedfordshire; Renardo Farrell, 19, of The Terrace, Finchfield, Wolverhampton; and the two 17-year-olds, who cannot be identified.