A murder investigation is underway after a police officer was shot and killed at the Croydon custody centre on Windmill Road in the early hours of this morning.
The shooting happened at 2.15am and involved a man who had been taken to the centre, where he was being searched when he produced the weapon and fired it at the officer and then himself. The police officer – described in some reports as a sergeant – was treated by colleagues and paramedics at the scene but died in hospital of gunshot wounds.
A 23-year-old man was detained by officers at the scene. He was also taken to hospital with a gunshot wound and remains in a critical condition.
The police fired no shots during the incident, the Met Police said.
As well as the murder investigation, the incident is also subject to inquiries by the Independent Office for Police Conduct, when some attention will be paid to how a suspect under caution could come to enter a police station while still armed with a loaded gun.
In a statement from Scotland Yard this morning, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said, “This is a truly shocking incident in which one of our colleagues has lost his life in the most tragic circumstances. My heart goes out to his family, direct colleagues and friends.
“We are currently supporting his family and also have a dedicated team providing support to the officers and those in the custody centre who witnessed the shooting,” she said.
“When a colleague dies in the line of duty the shockwaves and sadness reverberates throughout the Met and our communities.
“Policing is a family, within London and nationally, and we will all deeply mourn our colleague.”
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said that he was “devastated” by the news.
“My heart goes out to the family of this brave officer, who has paid the ultimate price for helping to keep Londoners safe,” Mayor Khan said.
“Every time a police officer starts his or her shift, they start their shift knowing the risk to their personal safety and it is possible they can lose their life in the line of duty,” he said.
And the Mayor addressed the issue of the shooting taking place within a police station.
“That a police officer can be killed in a police station is a source of great concern, not just to police, not just to those of us politicians who are charged with giving the police the tools they need, but everyone.
“One of the reasons that this man was arrested is that the police are bearing down on people who want to commit acts of violence. It’s a source of not just huge regret and sorrow, but it is heartbreaking that this person has then gone on to kill this officer.”
The Mayor said time was needed to allow the Independent Office for Police Conduct to investigate the incident. “In the meantime, we’re going to make sure we give the police all the support, all the resources, all the kit they need to make sure they are safe when they do their job of keeping us safe.”
Chris Philp, the Conservative MP for Croydon South and a junior minister at the Home Office, said this morning, “I am devastated by news that a police officer was shot and killed in Croydon today, in the line of duty. Our police protect us all and need our full support.
“This officer made the ultimate sacrifice.
“My thoughts are with bereaved family members. A man is in custody and justice will be done.”
And Steve Reed OBE, the MP for Croydon North, called the shooting “truly horrific”.
“Immediate thoughts with the officer’s family and colleagues,” Reed said. “All of us in Croydon are in shock at this heartbreaking tragic news.”
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