Police probe into Yard gun death

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The Independent Online
POLICE ARE preparing to question the colleagues and relatives of a senior anti-terrorist officer, who died at the weekend from a gunshot wound, in an attempt to determine the circumstances surrounding his death.

A superintendent has been appointed to investigate the death of Detective Inspector John Watt, who is thought to have shot himself in the head at the start of his shift at New Scotland Yard in central London on Saturday.

The 40-year-old officer, originally from Scotland, had been with the Metropolitan force for 21 years.

The Westminster coroner, Dr Paul Knapman, who will receive a copy of the Scotland Yard investigation, is expected to open an inquest within the next few days.

A post-mortem examination showed the officer, a married man with no children, died from a single gunshot wound to the head. It is understood he had not been under any internal investigation.

Insp Watt was alone in the armoury when colleagues heard a shot and went to investigate. A gun was found near the body. Police sourceshave confirmed that there was no foul play. "DI Watt died from a single wound to the head and that wound was self-inflicted," said one source.

The officer, from south-west London, had spent 18 months with the Anti- Terrorist Branch, one of the most prestigious and pressurised of the specialist detective forces in the Met.Members of the branch have to conceal their identities for fear of terrorist reprisals, are trained to carry firearms.

Detective Chief Superintendent John Bunn, operational commander of the Anti-Terrorist Branch, said: "This is a terrible, tragic death. We are devastated. Our thoughts are with his family."

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