Inquest opens into death of man shot by police
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.