Man shot dead 'when he pointed gun at police'

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A man was shot dead by police when he pointed what they thought was an Uzi-type machine gun at them after spending the previous night drinking and smoking cannabis, an inquest heard today.

Dayniel Tucker, 39, was fatally shot by firearms officers sent to Stansted near Sevenoaks, Kent, after he made a 999 call on the morning of December 29 2007.



His car, a white Mitsubishi Colt, was found in a field bordering a rural country lane with a hose connected to the exhaust pipe and the vehicle's catalytic converter removed.



Toxicology expert Dr Fiona Perry told the hearing that tests on Mr Tucker's body found he had traces of alcohol, cannabis and carbon monoxide in his body.



Opening the jury inquest, lawyer Catherine Milson said Mr Tucker had spent the previous evening in the Black Horse pub in the village where he had drunk between eight and 10 vodka and Red Bulls followed by a double vodka.



While there he chatted to barmaid Heidi Bradfield who "had a feeling that he was deeply sad", Ms Milson said.



He told her he was staying at a local B&B but this was later found not to exist and it was not known where Mr Tucker actually spent the night.



Ms Milson said that at 7.51am the next morning Kent Police received a 999 call from a man who identified himself as Dayniel Tucker and reported that "he had seen a person who was pointing a firearm at him".



A police car was promptly sent to the scene, she said, while the force communications centre phoned the caller back to ask him to describe what the gun looked like.



He told her it looked like an Uzi-type sub-machine gun before hanging up.



At this stage the incident was rated to be "medium risk as far as police were concerned as it was considered unlikely there was a male as he'd described with that type of firearm", Ms Milson said.



However firearms officers were duly sent to the scene.



Meanwhile two police constables arrived in Tumblefield Road and found Mr Tucker standing with something concealed in his jacket.



They called out: "Are you OK mate?" but he ignored them and walked away.



They took further orders not to challenge him but to monitor him and keep him in sight until the arrival of the armed response unit.



The officers also noticed Mr Tucker's car with hose attached in the field, and noted that "he may have been trying to commit suicide", Ms Milson said.



At 8.27am two armed response vehicles arrived in the village and it was agreed that firearms officers would approach Mr Tucker from a distance and if his weapon was visible they would identify themselves as police and detain him.



If it was not then they were to drive up to him in two cars and issue a verbal challenge to let him know they were armed and he could be in danger.



As they approached him one officer shouted out "armed police, armed police", and observed he had something concealed.



When they were about 20 metres away from him, the officer, referred to only as "Officer A" in the inquest, saw him take a gun from his jacket and point it directly at him.



Ms Milson said: "As Mr Tucker did that he took up a position where his feet were apart and he was holding the gun with both hands holding it."



She said that Officer A shouted out: "Armed police, drop the weapon, drop the weapon now."



Ms Milson said that, believing he was in danger, he fired a shot from his firearm, which was closely followed by a shot from Officer C.



Mr Tucker fell to the ground and an ambulance was called but he was pronounced dead at 8.57am.