Policeman shot dead on training exercise

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The Independent Online

A policeman was shot dead today during a training exercise.

Greater Manchester Police said the officer was taking part in a pre-planned exercise with other officers from the force in Newton Heath, Manchester, when he was injured at around 11.32am today.

He suffered serious gunshot wounds to the chest and was rushed to North Manchester General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

A spokesman for the force said the shooting occurred while the officer was on an exercise which was taking place on Thorpe Road, an area of factories.

It was not immediately clear if the officer had been shot accidentally by one of his own colleagues.

The shooting happened at a huge disused warehouse, known locally as the Sharp Building.

It was the former distribution centre for Sharp, the electronics giant, which used to sponsor Manchester United.

Police sealed off entrances to the site but forensic officers in white boiler suits could be seen in the goods yard outside the warehouse, which was cordoned off with yellow tape.

An ambulance was also on site.

The factory is surrounded by other industrial units and wasteland and one of the main links into Manchester runs alongside.

Speaking in the Commons, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith told MPs: "The whole House will be saddened to learn of the tragic death today of a police officer during a training exercise with Greater Manchester Police.

"This demonstrates the dangers that police officers face on our behalf.

"I am sure that the whole House will join with me in expressing our deepest sympathy to the officer's family, friends and colleagues."