Met officer shot dead was ‘long-serving sergeant’

A Metropolitan Police officer who was shot dead at a south London custody suite was a "long-serving sergeant", Met Commissioner Cressida Dick has said.

The victim died in hospital after the gunman, who was being detained, opened fire at Croydon custody centre in south London during the early hours of Friday.

The 23-year-old murder suspect, who is believed to have shot himself, is in a critical condition in hospital.

24 PHOTOS
Police officer shot dead in Croydon
See Gallery
Police officer shot dead in Croydon
Sergeant Matiu Ratana
Players and club officials observe a minute's silence at East Grinstead rugby club, to pay their respects to slain police officer Sergeant Matt Ratana who was the head coach at the club. in Kent, England, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. Ratana was shot inside a London police station by a suspect who was being detained. He was treated at the scene before being taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead. (Gareth Fuller/PA via AP)
Players and club officials following a minute's silence at East Grinstead rugby club, Kent, to pay their respects to police officer Sergeant Matt Ratana who was the head coach at the club.
Forensic officers outside an address in an area of London Road, Pollards Hill as police are �painstakingly� searching four crime scenes in connection with the killing of Sergeant Matiu Ratana, while the suspect � who was handcuffed at the time of the shooting � remains in a critical condition.
Polce officers stand beside the pitch ahead of a minute's silence in memory of Sgt Matt Ratana, a policeman killed in Croydon yesterday, before the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and Everton at Selhurst Park in south London on September 26, 2020. (Photo by Justin Setterfield / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by JUSTIN SETTERFIELD/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
CROYDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 27: Tributes to Sergeant Matiu Ratana are seen outside Croydon Custody Centre on September 27, 2020 in Croydon, England. Metropolitan Police Custody sergeant Matiu Ratana, 54, was shot dead in the early hours of Friday 25 September At Croydon Custody Suite. A handcuffed man being checked in by Sgt Ratana opened fire before turning the weapon on himself. Sgt Ratana died later in hospital. (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images)
CROYDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 27: Tributes to Sergeant Matiu Ratana are seen outside Croydon Custody Centre on September 27, 2020 in Croydon, England. Metropolitan Police Custody sergeant Matiu Ratana, 54, was shot dead in the early hours of Friday 25 September At Croydon Custody Suite. A handcuffed man being checked in by Sgt Ratana opened fire before turning the weapon on himself. Sgt Ratana died later in hospital. (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images)
CROYDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 27: Police officers leave tributes to Sergeant Matiu Ratana outside Croydon Custody Centre on September 27, 2020 in Croydon, England. Metropolitan Police Custody sergeant Matiu Ratana, 54, was shot dead in the early hours of Friday 25 September At Croydon Custody Suite. A handcuffed man being checked in by Sgt Ratana opened fire before turning the weapon on himself. Sgt Ratana died later in hospital. (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images)
Forensic officers outside an address in an area of London Road, Pollards Hill as police are �painstakingly� searching four crime scenes in connection with the killing of Sergeant Matiu Ratana, while the suspect � who was handcuffed at the time of the shooting � remains in a critical condition.
Players observe a minute's silence before kick-off in memory of Sgt Matt Ratana, a policeman killed in Croydon yesterday, before the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and Everton at Selhurst Park in south London on September 26, 2020. (Photo by Clive Rose / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by CLIVE ROSE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
A police officer stands outside Croydon Custody Centre where a police officer was shot in the early hours of Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, in Croydon, England. A British police officer has been shot dead inside a London police station while detaining a suspect. London’s Metropolitan Police force said the officer was shot at the Croydon Custody Center in the south of the city early Friday. (Aaron Chown/PA via AP)
A floral tribute left outside Croydon Custody Centre where a police officer was shot in the early hours of Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, in Croydon, England. A British police officer has been shot dead inside a London police station while detaining a suspect. London’s Metropolitan Police force said the officer was shot at the Croydon Custody Center in the south of the city early Friday. (Aaron Chown/PA via AP)
A view of Croydon Custody Centre where a police officer was shot in the early hours of Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, in Croydon, England. A British police officer has been shot dead inside a London police station while detaining a suspect. London’s Metropolitan Police force said the officer was shot at the Croydon Custody Center in the south of the city early Friday. (Aaron Chown/PA via AP)
Forensic officers at the scene, at Croydon Custody Centre where a police officer was shot in the early hours of Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, in Croydon, England. A British police officer has been shot dead inside a London police station while detaining a suspect. London’s Metropolitan Police force said the officer was shot at the Croydon Custody Center in the south of the city early Friday. (Aaron Chown/PA via AP)
A police officer beside flowers left outside Croydon Custody Centre in south London where a police officer was shot by a man who was being detained in the early hours of Friday morning. The officer was treated at the scene before being taken to hospital where he subsequently died.
Police tape cordon inside Croydon Custody Centre in south London where a police officer was shot by a man who was being detained in the early hours of Friday morning. The officer was treated at the scene before being taken to hospital where he subsequently died.
Police officer outside Croydon Custody Centre in south London where a police officer was shot by a man who was being detained in the early hours of Friday morning. The officer was treated at the scene before being taken to hospital where he subsequently died.
Croydon Custody Centre in south London where a police officer was shot by a man who was being detained in the early hours of Friday morning. The officer was treated at the scene before being taken to hospital where he subsequently died.
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 25: A police officer stands guard at Croydon Custody Centre on September 25, 2020 in the Croydon area of London, England. A murder investigation has been launched following the death of a police officer at the Croydon Custody Centre in south London. He was shot by a 23-year-old man who was also treated for a gunshot wound. The officer died later in hospital. The death will be investigated by the Independent Office for Police Conduct. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 25: Police officers outside Croydon Custody Centre on September 25, 2020 in the Croydon area of London, England. A murder investigation has been launched following the death of a police officer at the Croydon Custody Centre in south London. He was shot by a 23-year-old man who was also treated for a gunshot wound. The officer died later in hospital. The death will be investigated by the Independent Office for Police Conduct. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
A police officer walks inside the Croydon Custody Centre in south London on September 25, 2020, following the shooting of a British police officer by a 23-year-old man being detained at the centre. - A British police officer was shot dead in the early hours of Friday morning, Scotland Yard said, the first officer to be killed by gunfire while on duty in over eight years. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)
People carry flowers to Croydon Custody Centre in south London where a police officer was shot by a man who was being detained in the early hours of Friday morning. The officer was treated at the scene before being taken to hospital where he subsequently died.
A police officer carries flowers to Croydon Custody Centre in south London where a police officer was shot by a man who was being detained in the early hours of Friday morning. The officer was treated at the scene before being taken to hospital where he subsequently died.
Police officers leave flowers outside Croydon Custody Centre in south London where a police officer was shot by a man who was being detained in the early hours of Friday morning. The officer was treated at the scene before being taken to hospital where he subsequently died.
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Scotland Yard said no police firearms were fired during the incident at around 2.15am.

A murder probe has been launched and investigators from the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) watchdog are on the scene to establish how the gun got into the custody suite.

Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said: "This morning we learnt of the shocking death of a much-loved colleague, a long-serving sergeant in the Metropolitan Police who was working last night in our Croydon custody suite.

"I have visited and spoken to our officer's partner together with other colleagues. We are giving her the best support we can."

She added: "Early indications are that the suspect shot himself. This has not yet been established as fact. The man remains in a critical condition in hospital.

"I understand that there is considerable interest in the identity of the officer but we have not yet been able to inform all of his close family."

Dame Cressida Dick
Dame Cressida Dick (Kirsty O'Connor/PA)

Leroy Logan, a former Met superintendent, said there were questions to be answered around the circumstances which led to the shooting.

"How did that person come to be in the station, whether it's in the yard or the building itself, and be able to produce a weapon, whether it's on them at the time?" he told BBC News.

"It depends on the calibre of the weapon, because obviously if it's a small weapon and it can be easily in that person's clothing, then obviously it brings another question on how thoroughly that person was searched, if at all.

"Those are the things the department for professional standards will look at and the IOPC as well as the investigating officers who will have to look at this thing thoroughly."

Steve Reed arrives
Steve Reed, Labour MP for Croydon North, leaves flowers outside Croydon Custody Centre (Aaron Chown/PA)

The officer is thought to be the first to be killed in a shooting in the line of duty since Pcs Fiona Bone, 32, and Nicola Hughes, 23, in September 2012.

They were murdered by Dale Cregan in a gun and grenade attack while responding to a report of a burglary in Greater Manchester.

The Met sergeant is the 17th from the force to be killed by a firearm since the end of the Second World War, according to the National Police Memorial roll of honour.

Unarmed Pc Keith Palmer, who was stabbed in March 2017 by terrorist Khalid Masood during the Westminster Bridge attack, was the last Met officer to be killed in the line of duty.

The roll of honour includes Pc Andrew Harper, who died when he was caught in a tow rope and dragged along country lanes after trying to stop quad bike thieves in Berkshire in August 2019.

The Thames Valley Police officer's three teenage killers were cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter after an Old Bailey trial.

His widow Lissie Harper, who is campaigning for a change to the law which would see all those convicted of killing emergency workers receive a life sentence, said: "This is devastating news.

"No person should go to work never to return. No human being should be stripped of their life in a barbaric act of crime.

"Another hero has been taken from us in unwarranted violence."

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was among those who reacted to the news on Friday morning, tweeting: "My deepest condolences go to the family, friends and colleagues of the police officer who was killed in Croydon last night.

"We owe a huge debt to those who risk their own lives to keep us safe."

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: "I'm deeply shocked and saddened by the tragic killing of the officer in Croydon overnight.

"All our thoughts are with the officer's family, friends and colleagues across the Metropolitan Police force, but also policing family across the country.

"This is a sad day for our country as once again we see the tragic killing of a police officer in the line of duty as they're trying to protect us and keep us safe."

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan added: "I am devastated by the news a Metropolitan Police officer has lost his life.

"I was informed of this tragic incident by the Commissioner this morning, and my heart goes out to the family of this brave officer, who has paid the ultimate price for helping to keep Londoners safe."

Forensic officers in white suits were seen entering the police station on Friday.

Local resident Wilhemina Dew, 45, said: "It makes me feel scared."

She added: "Whatever the reason, whatever the tensions shooting the police is unacceptable because we all need to feel safe."

Reverend Catherine Tucker, of the Holy Church Croydon parish, said: "The action taken against the police is really unacceptable but I also feel sorry for the perpetrator.

"Sadly, I am not surprised there has been a shooting in Croydon."

She added: "There are tensions between the police and young people particularly in relation to stop and search and the way the police relate to the community."

Read Full Story Click here to comment

FROM OUR PARTNERS