A car driven by a man shot dead by police in south London collided with an emergency service vehicle before a single shot was fired through the windscreen, a court has heard.
Chris Kaba, who died in Streatham Hill last month, was being followed by an unmarked police car which had no lights or sirens on in the minutes before the shooting, Inner South London Coroner’s Court was told on Tuesday.
After his Audi drove down Kirkstall Gardens on 5 September, he was blocked by a marked police vehicle and there was “contact” between the two cars, the court heard, before a marksman fired a single shot through the windscreen, which hit Mr Kaba in the head.
An inquest into Mr Kaba’s death was opened and adjourned by Senior Coroner Andrew Harris on Tuesday while further investigations by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) take place.
Relatives of Mr Kaba shared a tearful embrace outside the court after the brief hearing and called for an urgent decision on criminal charges. Mr Kaba’s cousin Jefferson Bosela called for the officers involved to be interviewed under caution immediately.
Flanked by Mr Kaba’s mother Helen Lumuanganu, his father Prosper Kaba and his uncle, Mr Bosela said: “We need answers. Not just this family, but the whole of London – the whole of the country – needs to know how something like this could occur.
“How can a young man, sitting in a car, unarmed, be shot in the head by police in London in 2022? This should never have happened. It must never happen again. We must never accept this as normal. Someone must be held accountable.”
Dean Brown from the IOPC told the hearing that officers on duty on the day Mr Kaba died were told that the Audi had been linked to a firearms incident the previous day. They were not given Mr Kaba’s name because the car did not belong to him.
The shooting is being investigated as a potential homicide and the IOPC probe is expected to take six to nine months, which Mr Kaba’s family say is too long.
Mr Bosela said: “We know there are many, many people who are as concerned about what happened to Chris as his family and friends are.
“For many of them, Chris could have been their son, their brother, their cousin, their friend. In communities across London, what happened to Chris feels very personal. They understand and feel the pain our family is going through.”
Construction worker Mr Kaba was months away from becoming a father when he died.
Mr Bosela said: “My cousin Chris was very much loved by us. His loss is with us every day. He had a bright future ahead of him – his first child was about to be born. That his life was cut short by a police officer is a tragedy.
“We will not rest until the people responsible for Chris’s death are held fully accountable.”
The Metropolitan Police marksman who shot Mr Kaba has been suspended from duty. The inquest has been adjourned while the circumstances of the shooting are investigated by the IOPC.