A police officer has died after being shot by a suspect being taken into custody in Croydon, south London.
It is believed the suspect turned the gun on themselves after fatally wounding the male custody sergeant just after 2am on Friday.
The Met Police officer – who has not been identified – was rushed to a local hospital but was unable to be saved.
A 23-year-old man was detained at the scene of Croydon Custody Centre and was also taken to hospital with a gunshot wound. He remains in a critical condition, police said.
No police firearms were discharged during the incident.
A Met Police statement said: ‘One of our police officers has sadly died after being shot by a man who was being detained in police custody early this morning in Croydon. Officers are in the process of informing members of the officer’s family.’
It is unclear how the man was able to enter the custody centre with the gun.
The incident has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct who will investigate, although the Met will lead the murder probe.
Former Met superintendent Leroy Logan 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.
Tributes from senior police officers and politicians have poured in for the unnamed police officer.
Flowers were lain outside Croydon Custody Centre on Friday morning as forensics arrived to begin their investigation.
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.
‘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.
‘We are in the early stages of the investigation and are still working to establish the circumstances surrounding the incident and we will provide further updates when we have them.’
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said his ‘deepest condolences’ go out to the friends, family and colleagues of the murdered officer.
He wrote: ‘We owe a huge debt to those who risk their own lives to keep us safe’.
Home Secretary Priti Patel described the incident as ‘a sad day for our country and another terrible reminder of how our police officers put themselves in danger each and every day to keep us safe.’
She said she had spoken to Dame Cressida Dick and offered ‘whatever support was needed’ to help Met Police with their investigation
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan told LBC radio police ‘are seeing an increase in guns’ on the streets of the capital.
In a statement about the police officer’s death he said: ‘Devastated by this news. My heart goes out to the family of this brave officer, who has paid the ultimate price for helping to keep Londoners safe. Tragic incidents like this are terrible reminders of the dangers our police officers face every single day.’
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer tweeted: ‘Horrific to hear of a police officer being shot and killed in Croydon. Our police put themselves in harm’s way every day to keep us safe. All my thoughts are with the officer’s family, friends and colleagues.’
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