Po­lice shoot man dead in ‘drugs bust gone wrong’

Sunday Express - - SUBURBAN TRAIN - By Berny Torre

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

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