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Horrified Southwark residents recall screams in early hours before crossbow intruder shot by police - latest

A man armed with a crossbow has been shot dead by armed police after trying to force his way into a building in south-east London, police have said.

Neighbours heard “bangs and screaming” as police descended on the quiet estate during the early hours of the morning, with one young girl telling her father: “Papa, I heard someone get shot.”

The Metropolitan Police said the man, who was in his 30s, was attempting to gain access to a building in Bywater Place, Surrey Quays, shortly before 5am on Tuesday and was threatening to hurt the people inside.

Unarmed officers tried to speak to him but were threatened, and when police marksmen arrived he had got into the building and was shot.

He was given first aid but died at the scene, while two occupants in the building received minor injuries.

Police are currently trying to contact his family and the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has launched an investigation.

Key Points

  • Man shot dead by armed officers in Southwark

  • Neighbour suspected a terror attack as armed police descended on quiet street

  • IOPC begin independent investigation into fatal shooting

  • Local resident woke up to the sound of gunshots

17:28 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

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Knife pictured at scene in Surrey Quays

16:47 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

A knife at the scene near Bywater Place in Surrey Quays, south east London, where a man has died after being shot by armed police responding to calls for help in the early hours of this morning.

 (PA)
(PA)

Full IOPC statement

16:15 , Holly Evans

An IOPC spokesman said: “We have begun an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the fatal shooting of a man by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) earlier this morning in Southwark.

“We were notified by the MPS after the incident, which occurred shortly before 5am, and declared an independent investigation at around 6.40am.

“We have sent investigators to the scene and the police post-incident procedure to begin gathering evidence.

“Our investigation is in its very early stages.”

Local resident heard screaming and ‘fighting’

15:35 , Holly Evans

IT consultant Valeria Bocanegra, 37, said: “I could hear shouting but could not hear what was being said. I could hear someone screaming and then everything became quiet.

“I think it was a man and a woman fighting.

“It is quite a shock (to hear that someone has been shot). There is a family behind this situation. A man has died and it is a horrible situation.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Neighbours in disbelief after being awoken to shouts and dogs barking

15:05 , Holly Evans

Another neighbour, who did not want to be named, said the noises made her dog bark and woke her up.

She said: “It sounded to me like someone was trying to get in or maybe banging furniture.

The woman said: “The dog was barking. There was a lot of shouting. There were lots of voices.

“You can see this sort of stuff on TV but when you see it is real and it is real people’s lives – it is just really sad.

“It is going to be really traumatic for the people who were inside.”

Restaurant owner left feeling insecure after Southwark shooting

14:40 , Holly Evans

Restaurant owner Akber Baloch, 52, said: “I was sleeping and I heard some shouting. It was also like someone was banging a door. There was banging and shouting. It sounded like a man and a woman.”

He added: “I was afraid about what was happening.

“I am really worried and it makes you feel insecure. I do not know who is wrong or right in this situation but it makes you feel insecure.”

Latest pictures from the scene

14:15 , Holly Evans

 (Barney Davis/The Independent)
(Barney Davis/The Independent)
Medical equipment seen on the road of Bywater Place (Lucy North/PA Wire)
Medical equipment seen on the road of Bywater Place (Lucy North/PA Wire)

Kevlar vest, pink crossbow bolts and gas mask, among items found at the scene

14:07 , Joe Middleton

The Independent’s Barney Davis reports that strewn at the scene at Bywater Place, Surrey Quays, is a kevlar vest, a knife holster, several bright pink crossbow bolts and a gas mask.

A police cordon remains in place as forensic scientists continue their investigations.

Where did the shooting take place?

13:50 , Holly Evans

The incident occurred during the early hours of this morning at an address in Bywater Place in Surrey Quays.

Statement from lead detective in Southwark

13:45 , Holly Evans

Detective Chief Superintendent Seb Adjei-Addoh, responsible for policing Southwark, said: “My thoughts are with all those affected by this incident.

“I understand the local community will be concerned at the events that have taken place this morning. We will fully support the IOPC investigation into the full circumstances of what happened.”The force added: “Armed officers are highly trained and patrol the streets of London on a daily basis, dealing with challenging, fast moving and often dangerous situations to try and protect the public and their unarmed colleagues. They discharge their weapons very rarely and all officers understand and expect that when they do, their actions will be closely scrutinised.”

Local resident woke up to the sound of gunshots

13:19 , Barney Davis

Another neighbour said: “I heard ‘bang, bang’ it must have been the gunshots. I looked at the clock it was just before 5am. Then I could hear police radios crackling.

“I looked out his head was covered and his torso but I could see his arms hanging out the side. It was horrible. I couldn’t see any weapons or crossbow.

“The police were really struggling to put up the tent around him. I didn’t want my son to see.”

She added: “It’s a really quiet area usually with families everyone knows eachother it’s a lovely community. But in this house people come and go. I think it’s a multiple occupancy.”

Police investigating a property in Bywater Place (Barney Davis/The Independent)
Police investigating a property in Bywater Place (Barney Davis/The Independent)

Neighbour heard a woman screaming for help

12:55 , Barney Davis

Valeria Bocanegra told the Independent that she heard a woman screaming for help before police arrived.

She said: “It was 4.56am. I heard two people screaming a woman and a man yelling at the top of the lungs.

“I heard everything I thought ‘what is happening?’ Then it went quiet and they shut up.”

Statement from London Ambulance Service

12:26 , Holly Evans

A spokesman for the London Ambulance Service said: “We were called today at 5:03am to reports of an incident on Bywater Place, Surrey Quays.

“We sent some resources to the scene, including an ambulance crew and an incident response officer.

“We also dispatched London’s Air Ambulance, which consisted of a trauma team by car. We treated three people at the scene, two of whom had minor injuries.

“The third patient was pronounced dead at the scene.”

White tent and cordon remains at crime scene

12:09 , Holly Evans

Forensics officers can be seen working next to a white tent which had been set up behind a police cordon.

Police tape, guarded by uniformed officers, blocked the winding roads around the inner city south-east London scene which is surrounded by residential flats and terraced houses.

Uniformed officers could also be seen patrolling the area.

Police officers at the scene near Bywater Place in Surrey Quays (Lucy North/PA Wire)
Police officers at the scene near Bywater Place in Surrey Quays (Lucy North/PA Wire)

Neighbour suspected a terror attack as armed police descended on quiet street

11:53 , Barney Davis

A neighbour told the Independent: “My daughter was awake said ‘Papa I heard someone get shot. There were gunshots.’

“I thought it could be a teror attack if he was shot. I have lived here for five years and I’ve never heard anyone get shot or even shout.

“It’s mostly families and young professionals here. It is shocking for us in our area, where will be next?”

Forensics are taking pictures of the front door of a home believed to be rented to multiple people.

 (PA)
(PA)

Young girl told her father ‘Papa I heard someone get shot'

11:48 , Barney Davis

Neighbours heard a man frantically banging on a door and shouting before police arrived at the scene.

One young girl told her father “Papa I heard someone get shot.”

The 53-year-old told the Independent: “I heard a man slamming on a door it woke me up. It was like he was trying to force his way in.

“Then the police car arrived with sirens. It was about 5am I didn’t think it was party time or anything. I couldn’t hear what he was shouting but he was trying to get in.”

Where did the shooting take place?

11:28 , Holly Evans

The incident took place shortly before 5am in Bywater Place in south-east London.

More pictures from the scene

11:18 , Holly Evans

Police  forensic officers at the scene near Bywater Place (PA)
Police forensic officers at the scene near Bywater Place (PA)
The street remains cordoned off (PA)
The street remains cordoned off (PA)
The man was pronounced dead at the scene (PA)
The man was pronounced dead at the scene (PA)

Sadiq Khan says ‘thoughts are with everyone impacted’

11:07 , Holly Evans

The Mayor of London has said it is “right” for the IOPC to fully investigate the circumstances as he offers his sympathies to those affected.

Writing on X, formerly known as Twitter, Sadiq Khan said: “My thoughts are with everyone impacted by this incident. It’s right that the independent IOPC will now investigate the full circumstances. I urge anyone with information to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

Fatal police shootings relatively rare in UK

11:02 , Holly Evans

Fatal police shootings are relatively rare in the UK – there were only three in the year to March 31 2023.

The most recent Met fatality was the death of Giedrius Vasiljevas, 40, who was shot at his home in Dagenham, east London, in November after calling 999 to say he had loaded guns and wanted to take his own life.

Neighbours heard ‘loud bangs’ and shouting ahead of fatal shooting

10:57 , Barney Davis

A local said they heard bangs and screaming as police arrived at the scene.

One off-duty paramedic said: “I heard screams early this morning but it sounded like a fox to me. I’ve lived here for three years and it is a quiet estate, really nice and safe usually. A crossbow is mad - so medieval.”

Another woman added: “We were woken up by heard some loud bangs and saw the police with sirens everywhere.

“People were shouting but it was chaotic and I couldn’t tell what was being said.”

Local councillor praises ‘fast response’ of emergency services

10:55 , Holly Evans

A Liberal Democrat councillor has said he is “deeply concerned” about the news of a man being shot by armed police in Southwark, and praised the response of the emergency services.

Adam Hood, who representes Surrey Docks, said: “Deeply concerned by this news from Bywater Place. Details are still emerging but at this point I’m thankful to the fast response from emergency services.”

Two occupants inside building received minor injuries

10:50 , Holly Evans

Two occupants of a property in Bywater Place received minor injuries after a man forced entry while armed with a crossbow.

The Metropolitan Police said: “Local officers attended and attempted to speak to the man but, after being threatened, armed officers were called and quickly attended the scene.

“The man had got inside the property, and a police firearm was discharged.

“Officers and paramedics from the London Ambulance Service immediately provided first aid but sadly the man died at the scene.”

Two occupants received minor injuries during the incident (Barney Davis/The Independent)
Two occupants received minor injuries during the incident (Barney Davis/The Independent)

IOPC begin independent investigation into fatal shooting

10:46 , Holly Evans

An IOPC spokesman said: “We have begun an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the fatal shooting of a man by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) earlier this morning in Southwark.

“We were notified by the MPS after the incident, which occurred shortly before 5am, and declared an independent investigation at around 6.40am.

“We have sent investigators to the scene and the police post-incident procedure to begin gathering evidence.

“Our investigation is in its very early stages.”

Met Police will support IOPC investigation

10:41 , Holly Evans

Detective Chief Superintendent Seb Adjei-Addoh, responsible for policing Southwark, said: “My thoughts are with all those affected by this incident.

“I understand the local community will be concerned at the events that have taken place this morning. We will fully support the IOPC investigation into the full circumstances of what happened.”

First pictures from the scene

10:37 , Holly Evans

Police vehicles at the scene in Surrey Quays (Barney Davis/The Independent)
Police vehicles at the scene in Surrey Quays (Barney Davis/The Independent)
 (Barney Davis/The Independent)
(Barney Davis/The Independent)

Man shot dead by armed officers in Southwark

10:34 , Holly Evans

A man aged in his 30s who was reportedly armed with a crossbow has been shot dead by armed police in south-east London.

The Metropolitan Police said the man was trying to force his way into a building in Bywater Place, Surrey Quays, just before 5am on Tuesday and was threatening to hurt the people inside.

Unarmed officers tried to speak to him but were threatened, and when police marksmen arrived he had got into the building and was shot.

He was given first aid but died at the scene, and police are trying to contact his family.

Welcome to our live coverage

10:25 , Holly Evans

Welcome to our live coverage, where we will be bringing you all the latest updates after a man was shot dead by Metropolitan Police officers after breaking into a building while reportedly carrying a crossbow.

Follow the latest updates here