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Crossbow stalker swung sword at police before he was shot dead during break-in

Convicted stalker Bryce Hodgson was carrying three crossbows during the break-in

Barney Davis,Harry Stedman
Thursday 14 March 2024 15:46 GMT
Moments before man armed with crossbow shot dead by police in London

A man swung a sword and pointed a crossbow at police during a break-in before he was shot, an investigation has found.

Convicted stalker Bryce Hodgson confronted officers before being shot in the neck and chest on 30 January at a property in Bywater Place, Southwark, south-east London, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said.

A provisional post-mortem examination report last month found Hodgson died from gunshot wounds to his neck and chest.

Armed with a crossbow, a hatchet, a Kevlar jacket and his face covered in a gas mask (Agimont Adventure en Paintball)

Hodgson was handed a 16-week suspended jail term in July last year and put under supervision for 12 months after admitting stalking.

Officers were called to the property after several reports of Hodgson, who was carrying three crossbows, trying to force entry.

Police officers at the scene near Bywater Place in January (PA)

Hodgson had entered the home via the back door and was trying to get into a bedroom where the residents had barricaded themselves in, the IOPC said.

He was trying to break through an internal door using a sword when officers entered the property.

Bryce Hodgson was (Supplied)

Hodgson, from Sheffield, was instructed to “show his hands” by officers who challenged him with a Taser, but he failed to comply and swung the sword at them.

The officers were then joined by armed support and firearms officers entered the property at 5.15am.

Hodgson did not follow instructions before picking up a crossbow and pointing it at an officer, at which point one officer then fired two shots hitting Hodgson in his neck and his chest, the IOPC said.

The weapons were secured, first aid was given and an ambulance was called by officers but Hodgson was declared dead at 5.37am.

Investigators have viewed body-worn video footage, obtained statements from the officers and listened to 999 calls and the officers’ radio communications to establish what happened. All of the officers who attended the incident are being treated as witnesses.

Scores of images online show Bryce, known as Fairy to his University of Aberystwyth paintball teammates, sipping cocktails and attending ‘I heart Aber’ club nights in his first year surrounded by friends and smiling.

Bryce Hodgson was shot in the neck and the chest by police (Supplied)

Later they said he became distant and receded into his room, where he spent entire nights playing computer games.

Friends said he started smoking cannabis in amounts only “a rich kid could afford” and became withdrawn and had to be coerced out of his room to celebrate his own birthday.

Bryce was later convicted of stalking after entering a woman’s bedroom without her consent, texting her to demand she open her door, and describing vivid sexual fantasies to her, between January and April last year.

Hodgson was also put under a five-year restraining order that banned him from entering Bywater Place and from contacting the woman.

His uni flatmate Jack Stone told The Independent: “He didn’t show any stalker behaviour back then though. He could barely manage to catch the bus. I assume he had a total mental breakdown.

“He didn’t exactly have a heart of gold. He used to lie, make stories up, to create a rift between me and our friends.

“He used to exaggerate and just generally cause problems in a way that someone stuck in immaturity tends to. But he didn’t deserve to die. He needed therapy.”

The IOPC said it had met Hodgson’s family and expected to conclude the investigation in the summer.

IOPC regional director Mel Palmer said: “I send my condolences to the family and friends of Bryce Hodgson and all those present or affected by this tragic incident, including the occupants of the property and officers involved.

“The evidence gathered to date supports the officers’ accounts that they perceived there to be an immediate and serious threat to the occupants inside the house.

“The officers, who were presented with a dynamic situation, acted swiftly to gain entry into the house to prevent any further harm to the residents.”

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