IOPC statement following conclusion of inquest into fatal police shooting of Trevor Smith in Birmingham

17 Nov 2021 11:53 AM

A two-week inquest into the death of Trevor Smith who was fatally shot by police in Birmingham in 2019 has determined that he was lawfully killed.

Mr Smith died after armed police attended his flat in a pre-planned operation at Wheeleys Lane, Lee Bank shortly before 5am on Friday 15 March 2019. Officers were there to carry out a search warrant obtained under Section 8 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE).

A post-mortem, carried out the day following his death, found that Mr Smith died from a single gunshot wound to the chest.

The IOPC began an investigation in March 2019 following a mandatory referral from West Midlands Police and concluded in January 2020. IOPC investigators reviewed body worn video footage, analysed police airwaves and recordings of a firearms briefing, and obtained statements from the officers and police staff involved.

The body worn video showed that armed officers attempted to verbally engage with Mr Smith prior to the shooting.

A black handgun, later found to be an imitation firearm, was recovered from the scene.

Our investigation concluded that the actions of the armed West Midlands Police officer when firing a shot that killed Mr Smith were proportionate and reasonable in the circumstances faced.

IOPC operations manager Steve Bimson recently said:

“Our condolences remain with Mr Smith’s family and friends for their sad loss from this tragic incident. Fatal police shootings are rare occurrences but when they do happen, it is vital there is an independent and robust investigation into the circumstances. At the end of our investigation we shared our report and evidence gathered with the Coroner to inform the inquest proceedings and with Mr Smith’s family and West Midlands Police.”