Man wanted over police shooting found dead

Police confirm the body of Peter Reeve has been found in Writtle, Essex. He was being hunted after the shooting of an off-duty policeman Photo: Essex Police

A man wanted for murder after a police officer was killed has been found dead in a churchyard, police said.

PC Ian Dibell was shot dead on Monday afternoon and a member of the public suffered leg injuries after Peter Reeve, 64, ran amok in a residential street in the seaside town of Clacton, Essex.

Police launched a manhunt involving hundreds of officers, vowing "not to rest" until they found Reeve.

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PC Dibell, who lived near the Redbridge Road crime scene, was off-duty at the time and it is understood he intervened in a dispute.

Reeve was found dead in the village of Writtle near Chelmsford.

Essex Chief Constable Jim Barker-McCardle said: "I can confirm Peter Reeve, the man wanted for the murder of a serving police officer, was found dead, with a weapon in a Writtle churchyard and no shots were fired by the police."

Mr Barker-McCardle added that Pc Dibell had "paid the ultimate price" by placing himself in the line of fire while off duty, adding: "He was a highly regarded and well-liked community police officer."

He declared that a number of lines of inquiry were being pursued as to the motive, adding: "There must have been some sort of catalyst that prompted the scale of a tragedy of this kind."

Mr Barker-McCardle said a handgun had been used in the attack and Mr Reeve, who was "largely unknown to police", did not hold a firearms licence.

He added: "We have had considerable support from the media and the public but Peter Reeve has been found and is dead."