Man armed with crossbow dies after being shot by armed officers in south-east London

A man has died after being shot by armed officers responding to calls for help from the occupants of an address in south-east London.

Jan 30, 2024
By Paul Jacques

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) said officers were called to reports of a man attempting to force entry to a residential property in Southwark at around 4.55am on Tuesday (January 30).

It was reported that the man, believed aged in his thirties, was armed with weapons including a crossbow and was threatening to harm residents inside the address.

Local officers attended and attempted to speak to the man but, after being threatened, armed officers were called and quickly attended the scene.

The man had got inside the property, and a police firearm was discharged.

Officers and paramedics from the London Ambulance Service immediately provided first aid but the man died at the scene.

The MPS said inquiries were ongoing to inform his next of kin.

Two occupants received minor injuries during the incident.

The MPS said its Directorate of Professional Standards has been informed and a referral has been made to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), which has begun an independent investigation.

Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist, who has overall responsibility for firearms, said: “The first unarmed officers knew they were arriving on scene to reports of man armed with weapons and threatening to harm people inside an address.

“The officers knew there were people inside and had genuine fears for their safety.

“Armed officers were called and attempted to get the man to surrender. They entered the property and shots were fired.

“The officers, assisted by paramedics, provided emergency first aid to the man, who was wearing body armour, but he sadly died.

“Weapons recovered from the scene include crossbows, a knife, a sword and a hatchet.

“This is an extremely difficult day for everyone involved.

“I would like to pay tribute to the bravery of all our officers who responded and thank all the emergency service staff involved.

“I firmly believe their actions prevented further loss of life.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Seb Adjei-Addoh, responsible for policing Southwark, added: “My thoughts are with all those affected by this incident.

“I understand the local community will be concerned at the events that have taken place this morning. We will fully support the IOPC investigation into the full circumstances of what happened.”

In a statement the MPS said: “Armed officers are highly trained and patrol the streets of London on a daily basis, dealing with challenging, fast moving and often dangerous situations to try and protect the public and their unarmed colleagues. They discharge their weapons very rarely and all officers understand and expect that when they do, their actions will be closely scrutinised.”

The IOPC said its investigators have been at the Bywater Place property all day where they have been securing key evidence, including weapons found at the scene.

In a statement it said: “We have established from police call logs that officers were called to the house at just before 5am following several reports of a man trying to force entry into the property.

“We also have viewed police officers’ body-worn video footage and established that the man, aged 30, was threatening to harm residents inside the address. We understand the deceased man was known to at least one of the occupants at the address.

“Local police officers unsuccessfully attempted to speak to the man who had gained entry to the property, but then called for assistance from armed officers after being threatened.

“After arriving at the scene, the armed officers then entered the house where the man was shot. We can confirm two shots were fired from a police issue firearm, which will be subject to further analysis.”

Among the weapons found at the scene were crossbows, a knife, a sword and a hatchet.

The man, who was wearing body armour, was taken outside the property and given first aid but died at the scene, the IOPC said.

It added: “A detailed search of the scene is continuing this evening and we have conducted house-to-house inquiries in the neighbourhood, which will continue in the coming days. We attended the police post-incident procedures where the officers involved provided their initial accounts of the incident.”

Regional director Mel Palmer said: “Our thoughts are with all of those affected by this tragic incident. The man’s next of kin have been informed and, in due course, we will be contacting them to explain our role. We will keep them regularly updated throughout our investigation.

“Given a man has died after being shot by police, our role is to independently investigate all of the circumstances surrounding this incident including the actions and decisions taken by the police.

“We appreciate that the community will want answers quickly and our investigators are working hard to establish the facts and piece together what occurred.”

The IOPC said HM Coroner has been informed and a post-mortem examination will take place.

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