Gunman shot dead by police to be identified

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The Independent Online

A man shot dead by armed police in a suspected "suicide by cop" will be identified today.

Witnesses to his death said the man pointed assault rifle-type weapons at children as he wandered through streets near his home.

One woman said he shouted: "Shoot me, shoot me" when he was finally confronted by armed officers in Honeysuckle Close, Harold Hill, near Romford, Essex, on Wednesday.

Minutes earlier, the man had attacked his girlfriend after she said she was leaving him for another man, witnesses said.

Yesterday, the three armed officers gave their first accounts of the shooting at Leman Street police station, east London.

Sources close to the inquiry said they followed new procedures banning them from writing up their notes together.

The shooting took place just six days after police chiefs said there was no need for individuals to confer in the aftermath of high-profile incidents.

The controversial practice was thrust into the spotlight after the deaths of Jean Charles de Menezes in Stockwell and Mark Saunders at his Chelsea home.

The dead man, aged 40 and named locally as Andy, will be formally identified later today.

Police recovered three weapons, believed to include a pistol and two larger guns, from the scene and the weapons are currently undergoing forensic tests.

Officers were called after neighbours dialled 999 to report the man attacked his girlfriend and was wandering around with a gun.

Retired nurse Ellen Hampshire, 67, said police told her husband the gunman shouted at them before the fatal shots were fired.

She said: "They were after this man who was waving his gun around and saying, 'Shoot me, shoot me'.

"Then I heard he had shot his girlfriend. He was shot on the green. The helicopter came down and landed there. I saw police running down the side of the houses."

A 63-year-old resident of nearby Myrtle Road said a neighbour of the couple was told the woman had met someone else.

She said: "He was telling police he didn't want to live without her, that this was how much he loved her."

Yesterday, the IPCC appealed for witnesses to come forward to help with its investigation.

Deborah Glass, IPCC deputy chairwoman, said: "There were clearly many witnesses to this incident.

"Although our investigators are talking to many people, we would ask anybody who has not already been in contact with the IPCC, but who saw any part of what happened in Honeysuckle Close yesterday, to get in touch."