Armed officers pursuing Derrick Bird during his shooting rampage passed the gunman's taxi, but then lost him after being delayed by roadworks.
Giving evidence into the deaths of the 12 victims and Bird yesterday, PC Phillip Lewis told how he and a colleague did not have time to draw their weapons during the fleeting encounter. It also emerged that the force's armed response car was not in its patrol area but 40 miles away when the shooting began. Both officers were in the canteen at Cumbria Police HQ in Penrith, awaiting minor repairs to their Volvo.
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