Man shot dead by police was not carrying firearm

A man shot dead by police in a Cornish village yesterday was not carrying a firearm when a police marksman opened fire.

Phil Prout, 53, is understood to have been armed with several knives when he was shot by outside his home in Lewannick, near Launceston.

The shooting happened after a row between Mr Prout and his mother and sister, according to a family friend.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating the case, which happened at 1.25am. According to a local report, the police opened fire when Mr Prout refused to drop the weapons and appeared to move towards them.

A friend said Mr Prout, who worked as a packer at a local factory, was generally a quiet man who lived with his mother, but he occasionally went on drinking binges.

Villagers from Lewannick said Mr Prout, who moved to Cornwall from Kent about 18 months ago, had been drinking in the local pub, The Archers Arms, on Monday night. Dozens of police were called to a house on the edge of the village at 9pm after a report of threats of violence. Devon and Cornwall Police negotiators were at the scene of the incident where the man was shot four hours later. He was taken to hospital in Plymouth but died.

It is the third fatal shooting involving Devon and Cornwall Police in the past 10 years.