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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Anthony France and Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Rotherhithe shooting: Met police shoot dead crossbow-wielding man who forced himself into house in Southwark

A man in his 30s who was reportedly armed with a crossbow has been shot dead by armed police in south-east London.

Scotland Yard said it was called to reports of a man attempting to force entry to a residential property in Bywater Place, Rotherhithe, around 4.55am on Tuesday.

The man was threatening to hurt the people inside, and was said to be armed with weapons including a crossbow, said police.

Unarmed Met Police officers reportedly tried to speak to the man but were threatened, and when police marksmen arrived he had got inside the building and was shot.The man was given first aid but died at the scene. Police were on Tuesday morning trying to contact his family.

Two people in the building suffered minor injuries.

A crossbow was found at the scene, police watchdog the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) confirmed late on Tuesday morning.

The shooting happened in Bywater Place in Rotherhithe (PA)

The IOPC is investigating the incident, in line with standard practice for a fatal police shooting.

A police cordon and white police tent were in place outside Bywater Place on Tuesday morning. Photos showed forensics specialists and uniformed officers at the scene.

Bywater Place is a residential area in the former docklands area of Rotherhithe, around 110 metres (360ft) from the River Thames. It lies around three-quarters of a mile (1.2km) from Canada Water Underground Station.

Adam Hood, who represents Surrey Docks ward on Southwark Council, said he was "deeply concerned" by Tuesday's incident. "Details are still emerging but at this point I'm thankful to the fast response from emergency services," he wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

In a statement issued on Tuesday morning, a Met police spokesperson said: "It was reported that the man, believed aged in his 30s, was armed with weapons including a crossbow and was threatening to harm residents inside the address.

"Local officers attended and attempted to speak to the man but, after being threatened, armed officers were called and quickly attended the scene.

"The man had got inside the property, and a police firearm was discharged.

"Officers and paramedics from the London Ambulance Service immediately provided first aid but sadly the man died at the scene.

"Enquiries are ongoing to inform his next of kin.

"Two occupants received minor injuries during the incident.

"The Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards has been informed. A referral has been made to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) which has begun an independent investigation."

Forensics experts at the scene (Jeremy Selwyn)

Detective Chief Superintendent Seb Adjei-Addoh, responsible for policing Southwark, said: “My thoughts are with all those affected by this incident.

"I understand the local community will be concerned at the events that have taken place this morning. We will fully support the IOPC investigation into the full circumstances of what happened."

The IOPC said its investigators were at the scene on Tuesday morning.

“We have begun an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the fatal shooting of a man by the Metropolitan Police Service earlier this morning in Southwark, south London," said a spokesperson for the watchdog.

"We were notified by the MPS after the incident, which occurred shortly before 5am, and declared an independent investigation at around 6.40am.

“We have sent investigators to the scene and the police post incident procedure to begin gathering evidence. Our investigation is in its very early stages.”

Fatal police shootings are relatively rare in the UK. Just three took place in the year leading to March 31 last year.

Prior to Tuesday's shooting, the most recent Met fatality was the death of Giedrius Vasiljevas, 40, who was shot at his home in Dagenham, east London, in November.

The father-of-four had called 999 to say he had loaded guns and wanted to take his own life.

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