A police officer shot dead inside a south London custody suite by a handcuffed suspect armed with a revolver has been named as 54-year-old sergeant Matiu Ratana.
Known as Matt to his family and friends, 54-year-old Sgt Ratana, who was originally from New Zealand, joined the force in 1991.
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
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London’s Metropolitan Police Service launched a murder investigation following the shooting by a 23-year-old suspect being detained at Croydon Custody Centre in the south of the British capital at around 2:15am (0115 GMT).
Media reports suggested that the suspect may not have been fully searched prior to entering the facility.
The officer, said to be “a long-serving sergeant”, was taken by an air ambulance to a south London hospital where medical staff “did everything they could to save his life”, the force’s Commissioner Cressida Dick said in a statement.
The suspect was also taken to hospital with a gunshot wound and remains in a critical condition, she added. The Met said no police firearms were discharged during the incident.
“Early indications are that the suspect shot himself,” Dick said, but noted “this has not yet been established as fact.”
British police are not routinely armed, although forces have tactical firearms units to respond quickly to incidents. Deaths in service are also rare.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson offered his “deepest condolences” to the victim’s family, writing on Twitter that “we owe a huge debt to those who risk their own lives to keep us safe.”
“Today, we police are all mourning a great loss.” Metropolitan Police commissioner Cressida Dick says a murder investigation is under way and officers are working at several crime scenes after a police officer was shot dead at a Croydon custody centre.