In­quest opens into death of man shot by po­lice

Coventry Telegraph - - News - By LAURA HART­LEY News Re­porter laura.hart­[email protected]­plc.com

SEAN Fitzger­ald was fa­tally shot by an armed of­fi­cer who was cov­er­ing the rear of the house raided last Fri­day night.

An in­quest has heard how the of­fi­cers got to the ad­dress and be­gan to force en­try and Mr Fitzger­ald ran out the back of the house.

The 31-year-old died from a sin­gle gun­shot wound dur­ing the raid on Burn­aby Road, Coven­try.

No firearm was re­cov­ered from the scene of the shoot­ing, where two 26-year-old men were also ar­rested, the open­ing of Mr Fitzger­ald’s in­quest was told.

Mr Beech, who leads the IOPC in­quiry, told the in­quest, opened at the War­wick­shire Jus­tice Cen­tre: “The of­fi­cers got to the ad­dress and be­gan to force en­try.

“Mr Fitzger­ald ran out of the back of the premises and was shot and fa­tally wounded by an armed of­fi­cer who was cov­er­ing the rear of the house.”

An in­ves­ti­ga­tion was launched by the In­de­pen­dent Of­fice for Po­lice Con­duct (IOPC), which is ex­pected to con­clude in June.

An­drew Beech, a team leader at the IOPC, told the five-minute in­quest hear­ing on Thurs­day that the in­quiry will look at the “de­ci­sions and ac­tions of the po­lice of­fi­cer who fired the shot”.

It will also in­ves­ti­gate the “in­tel­li­gence and op­er­a­tional plan­ning” be­fore the raid, Mr Beech said.

He told the hear­ing in Leam­ing­ton that po­lice went to the house un­der a Sec­tion 8 search war­rant.

The shoot­ing of Mr Fitzger­ald was im­me­di­ately re­ferred to the IOPC fol­low­ing Fri­day night’s raid.

Mr Beech added: “My col­leagues went through the po­lice post in­ci­dent process.

“They went to the scene, they went to the hos­pi­tal and they also met with Mr Fitzger­ald’s fam­ily.”

A li­ai­son of­fi­cer re­mains in touch with the fam­ily, he said, adding that the in­ves­ti­ga­tion is still in its “early stages”.

A post-mortem pre­vi­ously con­firmed Mr Fitzger­ald, who lived lo­cally, died of a sin­gle gun­shot wound to the chest.

Mr Beech told the hear­ing all po­lice of­fi­cers in­volved in the op­er­a­tion are be­ing treated as wit­nesses and said “no firearm was re­cov­ered”. The coro­ner, Sean McGovern, told the fam­ily: “I know it’s been a shock­ing thing that’s hap­pened.”

He ad­journed the in­quest un­til a date yet to be set.

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