A COP was shot dead inside a South London police station early this morning – after officers failed to find the weapon in a search.
The custody sergeant was gunned down in the station by a suspect arrested just minutes earlier.
⚠️ Follow the latest updates on the Croydon shooting here
The injured officer's colleagues and medics treated him at Croydon Custody Centre, before he was rushed to hospital, but tragically died.
The 23-year-old suspect, had been taken to Croydon police station where he pulled out a loaded gun – which hadn't been found in the earlier stop and search.
He then shot the Met officer, thought to be in his 40s, before shooting himself in the head shortly before 2am.
The gunman was taken to hospital and is in a critical condition.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct was notified and will today begin examining the shocking circumstances of the officer's death.
Questions will be asked on how the gun was apparently missed when the suspect was initially searched, after being seen acting suspiciously in Croydon town centre.
It is understood he was being booked in for possession of ammunition
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."
A Met statement added the killed officer's family were still being told of the tragedy.
No police firearms were discharged during the incident.
This is a truly shocking incident in which one of our colleagues has lost his life in the most tragic circumstances.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “I am deeply shocked and saddened to learn that a Metropolitan Police Officer has been shot and killed in the line of duty.
“My thoughts today are with his family, friends and policing colleagues in London and across the country.
“This morning I spoke to Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick to express my condolences and to offer whatever support is needed as this tragic event is investigated.
“This is 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 the rest of us safe.”
Tributes were paid to the officer this morning.
One Twitter user wrote: "Such sad news about the police officer in Croydon thinking of family and colleagues #met police #croydon."
It comes just over a year after PC Andrew Harper was killed while attending a reported burglary in a rural area of Berkshire.
The 28-year-old officer died after he was allegedly dragged along a road by a vehicle in Sulhamstead, Berkshire, on August 15, 2019.
More to follow…
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