A Police Officer Shot Dead At Croydon Custody Centre

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London: A long-serving police officer has been shot dead at Croydon Custody Centre in south London.

The male sergeant was shot in the chest before the suspect turned the firearm on himself, sources have told the BBC.

The man had been brought to the custody suite in a police vehicle and the shooting happened during questioning about Covid-19, the BBC was told.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has confirmed it is investigating the incident.

The victim, who has not been named, is thought to have been a few weeks away from retirement and was described as "one of a kind" by a colleague.

BBC home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw said it was believed the suspect - who is critically ill in hospital - was known to counter-terrorism police having been on their radar in the past, though the Metropolitan Police has not officially confirmed that.

No police firearms were discharged during the incident, which happened at about 02:15 BST at the Windmill Road centre.

The IOPC said in a statement that it had established the man was arrested for possession of Class B drugs with intent to supply, and possession of ammunition.

The police watchdog said the man had been handcuffed while officers prepared to search him using a metal detector.

"It is at the point that shots were fired, resulting in the fatal injuries to the officer and critical injuries to the man.

"A non-police issue firearm, which appears to be a revolver, has been recovered from the scene. Further ballistic work will be required."

The IOPC added that the Met Police was conducting a separate murder investigation into the death of its officer and it was working to ensure "our investigation does not impact its enquiries".

The force's chief, Cressida Dick, said the policing family was "deeply shocked and very sad" following the death of the officer.

"I have visited and spoken to our officer's partner together with other colleagues and we are of course giving her the best support we can," she said

"My heartfelt condolences go to her, to their family, to his colleagues and his close friends.

"A murder investigation is under way and officers are working at several crime scenes to secure evidence and to establish the facts of what happened.

"Early indications are that the suspect shot himself, this has not yet of course been established as a fact."

Det Insp Richard Berns described his colleague as "hard working and an inspiration to all who knew him".

"It was a privilege to have worked with him and known him over so many years," he said.

"He was one of a kind and will be deeply missed. Rest in peace my friend."

Community police officer Jacqueline Kufuor was among those laying flowers outside the custody centre in tribute to her colleague.


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