M62 shooting: Firearm found in car of man who was shot dead by police

Five arrested as part of 'pre-planned' West Yorkshire Police operation

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The Independent Online

A firearm has been found in the car of a man who was shot dead by police during a "pre-planned operation" in West Yorkshire

The man has been named locally as 27-year-old father-of-two Mohammed Yassar Yaqub.

West Yorkshire Police said the operation was not terror-related and instead was instead connected to criminal possession of a firearm. 

The force said its operation was "related to information received about criminal possession of a firearm, as a result of which vehicles were stopped at two separate locations."

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Father-of-two Mohammed Yassar Yaqub, 27, was shot dead by police (Facebook)

Five people were arrested as part of the operation: three at the scene of the shooting, and another two were arrested in Bradford.

At the scene on the M62, a silver Audi with bullet holes in its windscreen was surrounded by other vehicles at the bottom of the off-slip of the westbound carriageway.

Photographs of the scene show three bullet holes visible through the car's front windscreen.

Police said a car had also been stopped in the Chain Bar area of Bradford at around the same time.

Several of those arrested needed hospital treatment for injuries "not related to firearm discharge" but no police officers were hurt, a force spokesman said.

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Police forensics officers examine a silver Audi with bullet holes in its windscreen at the scene near junction J24 of the M62 in Huddersfield (PA )

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has been informed as a matter of course, and the force says it is “fully co-operating” with the watchdog's investigation.

The IPCC said a post-mortem examination on Mr Yaqub's body is due to take place on Wednesday and its investigators are continuing to seek any relevant CCTV footage.

The eastbound carriageway of the M62 is open at junction 24 but all other sliproads remain closed while the investigation continued.

A police spokesman said: "During a pre-planned policing operation near to the M62 in Huddersfield a police firearm was discharged and a man has died.

"An immediate referral has been made to the Independent Police Complaints Commission who are in attendance in West Yorkshire and West Yorkshire Police are fully co-operating with their investigation."

The incident is the fifth fatal police shooting in England and Wales in the past nine months and the first involving West Yorkshire Police since 2010.

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Armed police officers arrive at the home of Mohammed Yassar Yaqub in the Crosland Moor area of Huddersfield (PA)

In a statement, Mr Yaqub's Bradford-based lawyers said: “Mr Yaqub's family are in shock, and are distraught. They would ask the media to respect their privacy at this difficult time.

”The family are fully aware that the incident that led to the death of Mr Yaqub is currently being investigated by the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission) and they do not wish to make any further comment at this stage.“

People living near the scene of the shooting, which happened at junction 24 at around 6pm on Monday, described the frightening sight of officers “swarming” around a group of vehicles after the incident.

Shahnaz Malik's house is the closest to the scene and overlooks the slip road from the village of Ainley Top.

The 54-year-old said she was not aware straight away that there had been a shooting, first thinking it was a major accident, but then looked over her back fence and saw large numbers of police vehicles and officers.

“There was like a swarm,” she said. “There was a lot. It was dark as well.”

She said: “It was surreal. It was like time had stood still, so many police buzzing around.”

Ms Malik said Ainley Top was a tight-knit community and the shooting has shocked people living in the area.

“It's quite frightening. It's a little village and we all sort of know who's who.”

She added: “It's absolutely horrendous. This is a major incident. Somebody has been shot and killed. You hear about this on the news.”

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A silver Audi with bullet holes in its windscreen at the scene near junction J24 of the M62 in Huddersfield (PA)

West Yorkshire Police confirmed the operation “related to information received about criminal possession of a firearm” and that a car had also been stopped in the Chain Bar area of Bradford at around the same time.

Witnesses reported seeing “five or six” police cars, a Mercedes E-Class and a Jaguar at the scene.

An IPCC spokesman said: “An IPCC independent investigation is under way following the death of a man during a pre-planned police incident in Huddersfield.

“The IPCC understands that the man was shot by a West Yorkshire Police firearms officer shortly after 6pm on Monday 2 January close to junction 24 of the M62 motorway.

“IPCC investigators remain at the scene and are attending post-incident procedures in order to gather evidence during the early stages of this investigation. The man's family has been informed.”

In 2010 a Yassar Yaqub from Rudding Street went on trial after it was claimed that he opened fire on a car in Birkby Hall Road in Huddersfield.

But the defendant was acquitted of attempted murder after a judge ruled there was insufficient evidence.

People living close to Rudding Street said on Tuesday that Mr Yaqub's house was targeted by gunmen more than a year ago.

In June 2015, police said they were looking for three men after two people were hit when a shotgun was fired in Rudding Street as children played.

Officers said at the time that at least two men wearing balaclava masks approached the two victims and shots were fired.

The victims managed to run off and were taken to hospital with minor injuries.

Police described this incident as a “targeted attack”.

Nadeem Murtuja, chair of the human rights and racial justice campaign group JUST Yorkshire, called on West Yorkshire Police to disclose to the IPCC the full chain of events that led to the shooting.

He said: “There is a great deal of disquiet in the community about the death of Mr Yaqub and it is crucial that both his family and the Huddersfield community are kept informed about the conduct of the investigation and the events that led to the fatal shooting.”