Train driver fled as Menezes shot dead

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A train driver who fled into a tunnel as police shot dead Jean Charles de Menezes believed firearms officers were terrorist "fanatics", an inquest heard today.

Quincy Akpesiri Oji jumped off a platform at Stockwell Tube station, south London, and ran across "live" tracks after seeing officers open fire.

A jury at the Oval cricket ground heard how he was convinced police were extremists firing at passengers.

In a statement read out in the courtroom, Mr Akpesiri Oji said: "I got to the Stockwell Tube station just before 10am. When I got there the light was red. This was unusual.

"I then heard people screaming and I looked at the monitor at the front of the train.

"I heard gunshots. There were about 15 of them. I think there were about 15 shots.

"I saw one of the men with a large gun shooting and I thought they were fanatics and they were shooting at people on the carriage.

"I have run into the dark tunnel."

The driver said he was "scared" as the tracks were live and trains were approaching nearby.

He added: "I stood there with my back against the wall for about 20 seconds.

"Someone flashed a light into the tunnel. I said 'Please do not shoot - I am the driver'."

Mr de Menezes was shot by police at point-blank range on 22 July 2005 after being mistaken for failed bomber Hussain Osman.

The inquest heard yesterday that police were "out of control" before they opened fire.

Anna Dunwoodie claimed the innocent Brazilian closed his eyes and appeared calm as a gun was held to his head on a train carriage.

But she described scenes of panic among police, insisting she was "very, very clear" officers did not shout any warnings before shooting him dead.