A 40-year-old man has been shot dead by police in Islington, north London, amid reports that he had broken into a house and was threatening a woman with a knife.
This is the first time armed police officers in England have shot and killed a suspect in two years.
The incident took place at around 1am early on Friday morning in Shepperton Road, although a police negotiator had been on the scene since 11.19pm Thursday evening.
Witnesses describe hearing as many as five shots being fired. The man died 20 minutes later whilst travelling to hospital.
The woman at risk, who is believed to be an acquaintance of the man, was left unharmed although she was treated for shock.
A statement issued by the Metropolitan Police said: “As in any shooting, officers from the Met’s directorate of professional standards have been informed and this incident has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.”
Speaking to The Guardian, Rosa Whiteread, a 28-year-old school teacher said: “I was asleep and I heard shouting: it woke me up. It must have been around 12.30 at night.
“I looked out of the window and I saw lots of police, there must have been around a dozen of them. I asked them what was going on, but they said they couldn’t tell me … It’s shocking.”
There has not been a fatal shooting by police officers in England for more than two years. In March 2012, police in Cheshire shot dead Anthony Grainger whilst he was in a stolen car.
This is also the first fatal shooting by officers to take place in London since August 2011. The controversial shooting of Mark Duggan at that time resulted in widespread rioting throughout the capital.