Cab passenger shot dead by police
Friday 05 August 2011
A minicab passenger was shot dead by police after an apparent exchange of fire, it was revealed today.y.
The 29-year-old, named locally as Mark Duggan, a father-of-four, died at the scene in Tottenham, north London, last night.
An officer may have had a lucky escape in the incident - a radio was found to have a bullet lodged in it.
Officers had been attempting to carry out an arrest under the Trident operational command unit, which deals with gun crime in the black community, according to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
Local MP David Lammy called for calm, saying the community was anxious over what had happened.
London's Evening Standard newspaper quoted Mr Duggan's girlfriend Simone Wilson, 29, as saying she was "shocked" to learn her boyfriend of 13 years was carrying a gun.
She said Mr Duggan, also known as Starrish Mark, had become increasingly paranoid after a cousin was stabbed to death in a nightclub in March.
The IPCC spokesman said that at around 6.15pm yesterday officers from Trident, accompanied by officers from the Specialist Firearms Command (CO19), stopped a minicab to carry out an arrest.
"Shots were fired and a 29-year-old man, who was a passenger in the cab, died at the scene," he said.
The attempted arrest was part of a pre-planned operation under Trident.
It is believed that two shots were fired by a firearms officer, equipped with a Heckler & Koch MP5 carbine.
A non-police issue handgun was recovered at the scene and an officer's radio, which appeared to have a bullet lodged in it, was also found.
"Both the radio and the handgun are being sent for expedited forensic tests," the spokesman said.
"The exact sequence of events is subject to the IPCC investigation. A CO19 officer was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure but has since been discharged."
He said photographic and forensic examination had begun last night and was continuing, and a search for any relevant CCTV footage was ongoing. A post mortem examination is due to be carried out as soon as possible.
IPCC Commissioner Rachel Cerfontyne said: "Fatal shootings by the police are extremely rare and understandably raise significant community concerns.
"The IPCC will always conduct the investigations into such shootings to ensure that the public can be confident they are fully independent.
"I will make certain that this investigation is thorough and answers the many questions that everyone has when such an incident occurs.
"I fully recognise how distressing and disturbing this must be for the family and the local community.
"Obviously our investigation is at a very early stage, but I will publish further information and any findings as soon as possible.
"We were able to send our own investigators to the scene very quickly yesterday, which meant that the IPCC took control of the investigation promptly.
"Any witnesses to what happened will make a vital contribution to our evidence gathering, so I would urge anyone who saw the incident to contact us as a matter of urgency."
The IPCC is asking for anyone who witnessed the incident in Ferry Lane to contact them in confidence on 0800-096-9079 or email ferrylaneshootingipcc.gov.uk.
Mr Lammy MP for Tottenham said: "I am shocked and deeply worried by this news. There is now a mood of anxiety in the local community but everyone must remain calm.
"It is encouraging that the Independent Police Complaints Commission has immediately taken over the investigation. There is a need to clarify the facts and to move quickly to allay fears.
"It is very important that our community remains calm and allows the investigation to take its course."
Jay Crowned, 39, who lives locally, said last night that the victim was a man named "Mark", a father of four in his late 20s.
She said the man had three girls and one boy and described him as "a good daddy".
"The whole family is devastated," she said.
"Mark was a local boy who was loved by the community.
"He's not a troublemaker but he's been down since his friend was stabbed in Mile End in around April this year. His friend was like a brother and he lost him brutally. Since then he's been really down."
She added: "He's never had trouble with the police before."
Mr Lammy, who visited the scene earlier today, said: "Obviously people are scared and they are deeply worried.
"There is real concern about what has happened.
"I think that people are encouraged that the IPCC are investigating straight away and I have urged them to put out as much information as they are able to, to allay people's fears."
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