Probe continues as man dies after being shot 'up to 10 times' by armed police

Updated: 

Investigators are working through the night at the scene of a police operation in which a man was shot dead following reports a motorist was seen with a handgun.

According to witnesses the man was shot at up to 10 times by armed officers who stopped a car on the A369 near Bristol.

Police confirmed a man died during an "incident involving police firearms" on Bristol Portbury Hundred road, close to the M5 Gordano services, on Wednesday morning.

Police close a road close to the scene in Portbury
(Ben Birchall/PA)

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), which is investigating the incident, said it understood officers responded to reports that a man was travelling on the M5 with a handgun and he had threatened another motorist.

Avon and Somerset Police said the A369 would remain closed into Thursday morning "to ensure all necessary evidence is gathered and a thorough examination of the scene of (the) incident is carried out".

The force said a car left the M5 at Junction 19 and armed officers stopped the vehicle on the Portbury Hundred.

An eyewitness described seeing police shoot into a stationary red Suzuki Swift car.

The scene on the A369 in Portishead, near Bristol
(Claire Hayhurst/PA)

David Ellison told BBC Radio Bristol he had seen the operation unfold from his vehicle.

"Ahead of me were police in the road," he said.

"I saw them back off from a car and then they surrounded it. They maybe shot with handguns five, six, maybe 10 times.

"Then they dragged a man from the car to resuscitate him."

The scene on the A369 in Portishead, near Bristol
(Claire Hayhurst/PA)

A body, covered by a blanket, was later seen laying in the road at the back of the near-side of the small hatchback car.

Images showed at least four bullet holes in the off-side of the vehicle and what appeared to be a black handgun on the roof.

The driver's side front window was smashed, and there was blood and glass on the floor as well as a sun hat.

The scene was cordoned off and officers in white forensic suits erected a blue and white tent opposite a number of vehicles on the side of the road.

The Avon and Somerset force has referred the shooting to the IPCC but confirmed it was not terror-related.

A reminder to those using J19 of the M5 - The Portbury Hundred (A369) will remain closed for a while yet. Pls use alt routes. Pls RT. pic.twitter.com/VHz13bUzuK

-- Avon&Somerset Police (@ASPolice) September 28, 2017

"Earlier this morning we received calls from concerned members of the public travelling on the M5 who reported they had seen a man in a car with a handgun," a police spokeswoman said.

"The vehicle left the motorway at junction 19 and officers stopped the car on the A369 known as the Portbury Hundred.

"Shots were subsequently fired in an incident involving police firearms and a man has died.

"We referred the incident to the IPCC. They're now on the scene carrying out an independent investigation which we are supporting."

Police forensics at the scene on the A369 in Portbury
(Ben Birchall/PA)

A post-mortem examination of the dead man is due to be held on Thursday.

The IPCC said it was examining "what appears to be a non-police issue firearm" found at the scene and checking for CCTV and body-worn video footage of the incident.

IPCC commissioner Cindy Butts said no individual police officer was under investigation.