Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC - formerly IPCC)
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Police actions during non-fatal shooting in Birmingham were reasonable

Our investigation following a non-fatal police shooting in Birmingham concluded that the actions of West Midlands officers were reasonable and proportionate.

A 30-year-old man was taken to hospital after being shot in the arm by a firearms officer at the back of a flat in Shepherd Gardens, Edgbaston, at about 5am on 2 October last year (2018). The man was carrying a pistol at the time and in April this year was jailed for six years and four months after he admitted possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Police were executing a search warrant in a pre-planned firearms operation and while entering the flat at the front the man ran out into the back garden and appeared at the top of a low fence. The officer who fired the single shot was outside the garden covering the back of the property.

The officer told us that he discharged his weapon because he believed the man was holding a handgun and about to use it. Immediately after the man fell to the ground officers provided first aid until an ambulance arrived.

IOPC Regional Director Derrick Campbell said: “We recognise incidents of this kind are of concern to the community and thankfully the man recovered from his injuries. Shootings involving the police are still relatively rare but when potentially lethal force is used we have a duty to provide independent scrutiny.

 “Our investigation was thorough and examined the actions of all the police involved and we found that they acted in line with policy and procedure. The officer who fired the shot was experienced and appropriately trained in the use of firearms. We considered the operational planning and the way the situation unfolded, and we concluded that the use of force was reasonable and proportionate in the circumstances.”

After West Midlands Police notified us of the shooting we sent investigators to the scene where they oversaw initial forensic examinations, and we also attended the police post incident procedure. We gathered police body worn video for review, took statements from the officers involved and conducted extensive house-to-house enquiries.

All police officers were treated as witnesses throughout our investigation which was completed in eight months. Release of our findings was delayed until the conclusion of associated criminal proceedings.

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