LONDON | A British policeman was shot dead overnight Thursday to Friday by a man who was being held at a police station in south London, police said on Friday, the first to be shot dead on duty in eight years.
The policeman died in hospital after being shot in Croydon detention center, London police said in a statement, who have opened a murder investigation.
Arrested on the spot, a 23-year-old man also had to be hospitalized in critical condition with a gunshot wound. He had tried to turn the gun on him. No shots were fired from a police weapon, the statement said.
“We are at the very beginning of the investigation and we are trying to establish the circumstances surrounding this incident,” said Scotland Yard chief Cressida Dick.
Several police officers have died on duty in recent years in the UK, including one, Keith Palmer, stabbed in an attack near Parliament in 2017 claimed by the jihadist group Islamic State.
The last police officers to be shot dead were in 2012, according to a police website listing officers who died on duty.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson responded on Twitter, offering his “deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues” of the victim.
“We owe a huge debt to those who risk their lives to ensure our security,” he added.
In a statement, the Minister of the Interior, Priti Patel, said she was “deeply shocked and saddened”.