Police shoot man dead in Guildford

Monday 01 December 2008 09:47 GMT

The police shooting of a man outside a cathedral was being investigated today.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) launched a inquiry into the killing outside Guildford Cathedral, Surrey, yesterday afternoon.

Officers were called to reports of an armed man in the area, and he was shot dead at around 3pm.

Rebecca Marsh from the IPCC said: "My condolences to the dead man's family and friends.

"I would like to reassure the man's family, the public and the police officers that the IPCC investigation will be thorough, proportionate and timely."

The area around Guildford Cathedral was sealed off last night with police tape tied around mature trees in the grounds.

Residents of nearby Benbrick Road said they heard a police helicopter hovering over their homes and saw officers arrive in the area.

One student, who asked not to be named, said: "There were loads of police cars around and the cathedral was sealed off."

Another couple who live in the road said they had taken their young children to play in the cathedral grounds.

The woman, who asked only to be known as Vicky, said: "It's a shock to the system. My kids could have been playing in that field.

"We moved to a quiet area only to find that happening on our doorstep."

Her partner, Ally, said the police helicopter appeared around 1.30pm.

He added that he was shocked by the shooting: "It's on religious grounds - but crime goes on everywhere."

The incident took place within the cathedral's grounds, a woman connected to the church said.

"We had to cancel an advent carol service which 500-plus people were due to attend," she said.

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