Inquiry begins after police shoot suspect dead

Click to follow
The Independent Online

An investigation has been launched after police shot dead a man in the back of a car during a planned operation against suspected gunmen.

An investigation has been launched after police shot dead a man in the back of a car during a planned operation against suspected gunmen.

The dead man, who was aged in his twenties, was shot several times after the car he was travelling in was stopped by Metropolitan Police firearms officers in north-west London at 8pm on Saturday.

The armed operation was ordered in response to intelligence that suggested a crime was about to be committed.

Three firearms were recovered after the shooting and two men were arrested on suspicion of possession of firearms. Further arrests are expected, although police said they would not comment on details of the operation.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPPC) will investigate the case. Part of the investigation will look at why shots were fired in a planned operation. About 25 officers were involved in the operation, including the Met's specialist firearms unit SO19 and the Flying Squad. The officers expected their targets to be armed.

The suspects' car, thought to be a white VW Golf, was stopped in Edgware. Jerry O'Sullivan, 55, was in the Railway Tavern pub, on Hale Lane when the incident took place in the street outside. The television aerial technician said he heard several shots before police officers rushed into the pub and sealed the premises.

He said: "Everybody jumped to the floor and the doors burst open. The police came in with guns from the front and the back."

Mr Sullivan, who lives opposite the pub, said the police told everyone to stay in the premises for two hours. Then finally, "everyone had to go out of the back of the pub away from the scene.

"There were lots of bikers in the pub with their kids who were absolutely terrified when they saw all the guns. Nobody really knew what was going on."

Yesterday the area where the shooting took place was sealed off and forensic science officers searched the site. A post-mortem examination was being conducted yesterday afternoon.

An IPCC statement said: "Police fired a number of shots and the man was hit when in the vehicle. The man was given first aid on the pavement but pronounced dead at the scene.

"Two other occupants of the car were arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm and are in police custody. Three firearms were recovered from the vehicle and will be the subject of urgent forensic examination."