Police officer fatally shoots colleague.

Posted: February 16, 2010 in Law & Disorder

A firearms officer who fatally shot a colleague in the chest had been told to keep his gun pointed down during the training exercise, an inquest heard.

IlieThe officer who shot Pc Ian Terry, 32, earlier said he acted “instinctively”, as Greater Manchester Police’s firearms unit practised in a disused factory.

The father-of-two, from Burnley in Lancashire, who was not wearing body armour, was shot at close range while holding an empty gun, as he played the role of an armed robber fleeing in a car.

The specialist firearms officer who shot him cannot be named for legal reasons, but is to be referred to as Chris throughout the five-week inquest. Chris shot his fellow colleague with a single shot of Round Irritant Personnel (RIP) ammunition*, the hearing was told. He was using a pump action shotgun at the time and was a foot away from Pc Terry when he fired the fatal shot.

Throughout the training exercise, the inquest heard, the 20 officers taking part were told to keep their guns pointed down and aim only for the car’s tyres. Chris said he acted instinctively to the threat of the gun from Pc Terry

The aim of the specialist firearms officers was to burst the tyres of Pc Terry’s “getaway” car and then pull the “suspects” out of the vehicle. Other officers were using weapons which fired paintballs.

Despite first aid at the scene, Pc Terry died later in hospital. A similar exercise was held a week before but no shots were fired because one of the officers involved did not want to be shot by paintball.

The hearing continues.

RIP (Round Irritant Personnel) or Ferret Round

IlieBarricade penetrating rounds such as the RIP (Round Irritant Personnel) or Ferret Round are fired from shotguns and can penetrate doors and windows prior to entry.
Current UK ACPO recommendations on the issue and use of CS barricade penetrating rounds against “Armed besieged criminals or violently insane persons when not to use it would endanger the lives of the criminal, police or public”.

The CS or OC after breaching is dispersed in a fine powder.
A danger of fatality is high if the suspect were to be hit by the missile as it was fired through the door or window. However the accuracy is high and this allows the user to ensure as best as possible the subject is not hit.

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