Man shot dead by UK police named as Sean Fitzgerald – The Guardian


An ex-serviceman has been shot dead by police officers during a “pre-planned” raid on a house in Coventry.

Sean Fitzgerald, 31, died during an intelligence-led operation on Friday evening in the north of the city.

At about 1pm on Saturday, police said they could not confirm whether a gun was found at the scene because the police watchdog was investigating. Later however, West Midlands police confirmed they were yet to find a firearm, adding that a search was ongoing.

A friend said Fitzgerald had served in the British army until recently. Another claimed Fitzgerald was shot in the back as he tried to escape armed officers, although police refuted this at a press conference on Saturday evening.

Asked about the claims, assistant chief constable Sue Southern said: “From the information I have at this point, that is not my understanding.

“Body-worn video has been examined and there will be a full forensic postmortem, and the findings of that will form part of the independent IOPC investigation.”

Police arrested two other 26-year-old men at the scene of the shooting on suspicion of involvement in the production of cannabis following a “long-running criminal investigation”. They have been remanded in custody.

The police watchdog is investigating the shooting with officials from the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) seeking to examine footage from officers’ body cameras and local CCTV.

Fitzgerald’s friend Cory Brown, a 28-year-old construction worker, said he considered the response extremely disproportionate.

West Midlands Police
(@WMPolice)

Here’s our latest update following the fatal police shooting of a man in #Coventry last night. We continue to assist @policeconduct, which is independently investigating the circumstances. More details: https://t.co/ejSFlHeC41 pic.twitter.com/rddVHzAD9r


January 5, 2019

Witnesses on Burnaby Road, a largely residential street where the shooting occurred, described seeing 17 police cars and armed officers at the house as the street was closed.

Ali, a friend of Fitzgerald, told BBC News that he had “a heart of gold” and would “go out of his way for anyone”.

“No matter how nice or how bad a guy is, nobody deserves to be killed,” Ali said.

Fire engineer Karl Lolley, a father-of-two who lives within the area cordoned off by police, said that he heard “four or five” gunshots after witnessing officers approach the home.

“I saw three or four armed police cars turn up. Five to six armed officers got out and they went in the front door. There was some gunshots,” the 39-year-old told the Press Association.

IOPC’s regional director, Amanda Rowe, said: “Our investigation is in its very early stages and we will be working hard to establish what happened. My thoughts are with the man’s family and all of those affected by this incident.

“At this stage we are looking at the circumstances of the incident and all officers remain witnesses to our investigation.”

Adam Court, 26, owner of the local media network Complete Traffic based nearby, told the Press Association: “We heard a lot of sirens heading towards the far end of the street and traffic coming to a swift halt. The road is plagued with a history of serious collisions so this was nothing out of the ordinary. But it was the sheer number of police officers at the scene that caused initial concern.”



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