Inquiry into shooting of Alzheimer's sufferer

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The Independent Online
A FULL police investigation was being carried out today into how a 64-year-old man suffering from diabetes and Alzheimer's disease was shot five times by police marksmen.

Former garage owner Joseph Cowlam was gunned down by marksmen on his doorstep after a handgun was used to fire shots at police from his house in Birkby, Huddersfield.

He was hit five times, twice in the chest, below his eye, and in the pelvis and hand, when police opened fire after Mr Cowlam refused to give himself up.

Mr Cowlam was today said to be 'very poorly' in Leeds General Infirmary after undergoing three hours of surgery. His wife Ruth was at his bedside.

West Yorkshire Police voluntarily referred details of Saturday night's incident to the Police Complaints Authority and PCA member Edward Wignall has agreed to oversee the inquiry.

Greater Manchester Police are conducting an independent inquiry into the shooting, headed by Det Chief Supt Albert Yates. He arrived with a team of officers in Huddersfield yesterday to begin investigations.

The drama began on Saturday afternoon when neighbours in the quiet suburb saw a disturbance at the Cowlams' terrace home.

Police were called and Mr Cowlam was seen brandishing a .22 revolver at officers. Several shots were heard before the police returned fire.

Neighbours said they knew Mr Cowlam had a gun and believed he owned a firearms certificate.