Man Shot By Police In London Not Connected To Bombings
A controversy is brewing in Great Britain where a man shot by police as a terrorist bombing suspect is now said to have nothing to do with the bombings.
A man shot dead by police hunting the bombers behind Thursday’s London attacks was unconnected to the incidents, police have confirmed.
A Scotland Yard statement said the shooting was a “tragedy” which was regretted by the Metropolitan Police.
The man was shot dead after police followed him from a south London flat to Stockwell Tube station on Friday.
Two other men have been arrested and are being questioned after bombers targeted three Tube trains and a bus.
The statement read: “We believe we now know the identity of the man shot at Stockwell Underground station by police on Friday 22nd July 2005, although he is still subject to formal identification.
“We are now satisfied that he was not connected with the incidents of Thursday 21st July 2005.
“For somebody to lose their life in such circumstances is a tragedy and one that the Metropolitan Police Service regrets.”
The problem may be accounts of how this man was killed. Note this report in The Age:
The most eloquent testimony came from Mark Whitby, 47, an engineer from Brixton, who was sitting on the train reading a newspaper while it was stationary, with its doors open.
“I heard people shouting ‘get down, get down’. An Asian guy ran on to the train and I looked at his face. He looked from left to right, but he basically looked like a cornered rabbit – he was absolutely petrified,” he said.
“The man half tripped and was then pushed to the floor by three plain-clothes police officers who were pursuing him.
“One of the police officers was holding a black automatic pistol in his left hand. He held it down to him and unloaded five shots into him.
“I saw it all. He was dead – five shots. I was literally less than five yards away.”
Another passenger, Rob Lowe, 33, from Balham, saw the incident from another viewpoint in the carriage.
“The tube was stationary and then a man came on who I presume now to be a plain-clothes policeman, but at the time I didn’t know who he was,” he said.
“He was looking quite shifty, getting up and sitting back down again. I felt a bit awkward around him. And then he seemed to shout at some people on the other platform, who then all came rushing. The tube suddenly filled up with loads of people running down to the end of my carriage.
“Then I heard probably four or five loud bangs and saw a bit of smoke â€¦ It did look like there was somebody on the floor at the end.
“I didn’t know whether it was a bag or a person, but then there was a lot of people around him and then I heard the bangs. It took a few seconds to sink in.”
Mr Whitby said the dead man, who was fairly large and well-built, had a baseball cap on and “quite a thickish coat, a sort of padded jacket”. “He looked out of place. It is hot, humid weather, but I didn’t see him carrying anything.”
After the bombing there was some controversy in Great Britain as to whether security forces were pursing an immediate “shoot to kill” policy. Expect this debate to continue — a tough debate because waiting too long with a suicide bomber suspect could mean death and shooting too fast could mean tragedy.