A police firearms officer has been suspended and could face prosecution for murder after a man was shot dead during an alleged attempt to spring two convicts from a prison van.
Jermaine Baker, 28, from Tottenham in north London, died from a single gunshot wound during the police operation near Wood Green Crown Court on Friday.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said it has launched a criminal homicide investigation into the death. This could see the police face murder or manslaughter charges.
The highly unusual move marks an escalation in the IPCC investigation, which began on Friday as a probe into the circumstances surrounding the death.
In a statement the IPCC said: "The Independent Police Complaints Commission has launched a homicide investigation into Mr Baker's death. The launch of a criminal investigation does not mean that criminal charges will necessarily follow.
"As this is now a criminal investigation, the IPCC is limited on what further information can be provided."
The IPCC stressed that the criminal investigation is at a very early stage, and it may be decided that no criminal charges are brought.
Homicide occurs when a person takes another person's life - whether that be murder, manslaughter or another charge.
The Metropolitan Police said they have agreed to the IPCC suggestion that the firearms officer is suspended.
The development comes after four men appeared in court in connection with the alleged plot to free the two convicts from a prison van.
Nathan Mason, Gokay Sogucakli, Ozcan Eren and Eren Hasyer were arrested following the police operation near the court on December 11.
Two men, Izzet Eren, 32, and Erwin Amoyaw-Gyamfi, 29, were later jailed for 14 years each at the court for firearms and driving offences.
Mason, Sogucakli, Ozcan Eren and Hasyer all appeared in custody at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court on Monday.
Mason, Eren and Hasyer appeared together, wearing grey tracksuits and flanked by four security guards. They glanced at the packed public gallery and spoke only to confirm their personal details.
Sogucakli appeared separately in a grey tracksuit top and blue tracksuit trousers and also spoke only to confirm personal details.
Eren, 31, of Douglas Road, Wood Green, and Hasyer, 25, of Kettering Road, Enfield, are charged with conspiracy to aid the escape of the two prisoners.
Mason, 30, of Vicarage Road, Tottenham, and Sogucakli, 18, of the Roundway, Tottenham, face the same charge, as well as possessing an imitation firearm and using a motor vehicle taken without the owner's consent.
All four were remanded in custody over Christmas to appear next at Wood Green Crown Court on January 4.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Peter Terry, from Specialist Crime and Operations, who is the senior officer leading after the incident, said: "The exact circumstances that led to Mr Baker's death must be thoroughly and independently examined. That is the role of the IPCC.
"It is only through establishing the full facts, as quickly as possible, as to what took place that day that the best interests of justice and of all those affected can be served.
"As this is an ongoing investigation we must all await the IPCC's findings before drawing any conclusions or speculating on what has taken place."
He said the IPCC had the Met's full support, and that all the officers involved in Friday's operation are being supported.
He added: "This is a very difficult time for everyone affected by the death of Mr Baker.
"Locally within Haringey and at a London-wide level the MPS are engaging with communities, to explain the different roles and area of responsibilities of the Met and the IPCC. This includes listening to and addressing any concerns raised."