Police shoot man dead in ‘drugs bust gone wrong’
AN UNARMED former soldier was shot dead by armed police in a drugs bust that went wrong, his friend has claimed.
Sean Fitzgerald, 30, was shot while fleeing the raid on Friday night, Cory Brown says.
The national police watchdog is investigating after the car dealer was killed and two men were arrested at a house in Coventry.
Mr Brown, 28, claims Mr Fitzgerald was visiting two friends who grew cannabis at the property. Police carried out a “pre-planned” raid at the address around 6.20pm.
The ground worker, who also served in the Army, said Mr Fitzgerald would have fled because he was scared.
He said: “All of the lads inside the house were my friends. They’ve ran and Sean has been shot by an officer.
“The only reason I can see as to why they raided the property was because of the cannabis.
“None of the lads were armed and there was no weapons inside the house. I can guarantee that.”
Mr Brown claimed a neighbour told him a police officer said it was “just a warrant gone wrong”.
He said: “I used to be in the Army and so did Sean. We both know that unless by your honest belief, you think that your life or somebody else’s life is in immediate threat, you cannot engage. And that is in a war zone, let alone in a residential street.
“A bit of weed doesn’t equate to being shot. Sadly, Sean lost his parents when he was younger so without us, who would be asking these questions?”
Neighbours said they heard “four or five” gunshots after officers swarmed the front of the house in Burnaby Road. Other friends paid tribute to Mr Fitzgerald, with one – who gave his name as Ali – saying he had been with the “very, very good guy” shortly before he was shot.
A family member said online that she was “absolutely gutted” to hear about the death of Mr Fitzgerald, who another friend described as “one of a kind” who “would be there for anyone”.
Residents said they were told to go indoors as a section of the street was closed off and more than “17 police cars and armed police” arrived.
The fatality was reported to the Independent Office for Police Conduct by West Midlands Police. A spokesman confirmed it would be investigating.
KILLED: Sean Fitzgerald, 30