Armed robber killed by police: Shoot-out follows chase in dustcart

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The Independent Online
A BANK ROBBER hijacked a dustcart and unleashed a fusillade of shots at police officers who chased him along busy north London roads yesterday before being killed by a Scotland Yard marksman.

Last night the Police Complaints Authority announced it would be supervising an independent inquiry into the incident. The dead man, in his 20s, has not been identified.

Scotland Yard said the man, armed with a handgun, robbed a branch of Barclays Bank in High gate High Street just before noon, escaping with pounds 1,600. Summoned by bank staff, three unarmed uniformed police officers pursued the man, who fired a series of shots.

The man was spotted in a number of places before he crossed Archway Road, and, in a side street, hijacked a Haringey dustcart at gunpoint, threatening the three workers. He drove south on to Holloway Road with a police area car and an armed response vehicle in pursuit, firing several more shots at the police cars. The dustcart hit several parked and moving vehicles.

After several hundred yards, he turned left into a blocked side road and had to abandon the dustcart. He fled into a timber yard.

Commander John Townsend, who is heading the police investigation, said: 'He ran in through the main gate of the wood yard and again fired more than once on police. Police exchanged fire and the suspect was shot dead.' The shot was fired by an officer from the armed response vehicle, one of a number on permanent patrol.

Philip Elson, a director of the timber merchants, said: 'I saw the police car screech to a stop and a policeman got out of the passenger door with a rifle in his hands. He went straight down into a kneeling position and immediately fired off a cartridge. Several more shots were fired, I think from both sides.'

Adam Smith, 24, a musician, who was walking past, said: 'I was only about 20 yards away and one of the bullets hit a wall near me. I was sprayed with pebbles and debris.'