A police officer has been shot dead at Croydon Custody Centre in south London.
The officer was shot in the chest when a man, who was being detained, produced a weapon during a search. The suspect then turned the gun on himself.
The officer was treated at the scene overnight but died in hospital. A 23-year-old man is in a critical condition after being treated for self-inflicted gunshot wounds.
Boris Johnson said “We owe a huge debt to those who risk their own lives to keep us safe.”
In a post on social media, he also said: “My deepest condolences go to the family, friends and colleagues of the police officer who was killed in Croydon last night.”
The suspect has been arrested on suspicion of murdering the officer, who is believed to have been the custody sergeant only a few weeks away from retirement.
The custody sergeant is the tenth police officer to have been killed in the line of duty in the past decade, with the last being Andrew Harper in Berkshire in August 2019. PC Harper’s widow Lissie Harper said on Facebook that it was ‘utterly devastating’, adding: ‘What is happening to our world?’
Today’s incident marks the first time a UK police officer has been shot dead on duty since September 2012 when Dale Cregan killed PCs Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone.
Detectives said a 23-year-old man was arrested by officers at the scene and taken to hospital with a gunshot wound, where he remains in a critical condition.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: ‘My deepest condolences go to the family, friends and colleagues of the police officer who was killed in Croydon last night. We owe a huge debt to those who risk their own lives to keep us safe.’
Scotland Yard declined to comment on whether the arresting officers were special constables.
No police firearms were discharged during the incident at about 02:15 BST at the Windmill Road centre, the Met Police said. The officer’s family are being supported by specialist officers.
Met Police officer Stuart James tweeted: ‘This morning my team and I responded to the worst possible radio transmission from custody, words and scenes I shall never forget.
‘The unimaginable happened to our police family. We have lost not only a good skipper but also a real gentleman. One of the best. RIP brother.’