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Marksman could face trial for gunning down suspect

A police marksman could face trial for gunning down a robbery suspect after a former judge found there was "no lawful justification" for killing the 24-year-old.

In a damning report published today, Sir Christopher Holland also said the officer, known only as E7, "could not rationally have believed" that Azelle Rodney had a gun when he opened fire.

Mr Rodney was killed in Edgware, north London, in 2005 after the car in which he was travelling with two other men was stopped by armed police.

They feared they were on their way to stage an armed heist on Colombian drug dealers and had an automatic weapon capable of firing 1,000 rounds per minute.

Police express sympathy for Rodney family

The Metropolitan Police Service has expressed its sympathies to the Rodney family, after an inquiry found there was "no lawful justification" for his shooting.

I have read the findings carefully and want to express my personal sympathy to Mr Rodney's family. The MPS deeply regrets his death, and I recognise how distressing the inquiry must have been for them.

– Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, Met Commissioner


Rodney shot dead by police in 2005

  • Azelle Rodney was shot dead when the VW Golf he was travelling in was stopped by police
  • He was shot six times, once each in the arm and back, and four shots to the head.
  • The report ruled Mr Rodney could have survived the first two shots, to his arm and back, but not the remaining four to his head
  • Three guns were found in the Golf - a Colt .45 calibre pistol, a Baikal pistol and a smaller gun that looked like a key fob.

Inquiry report: Police killing unjustified

A police marksman who gunned down a 24-year-old robbery suspect had no reason to believe that he had picked up a weapon and there was "no lawful justification" for shooting him dead, according to a damning official report published today.

Former High Court judge Sir Christopher Holland released his findings following the public inquiry into the death of Azelle Rodney, who was killed by armed police in London in 2005. Police believed he and two other men were on their way to carry out an armed heist on Columbian drug dealers.

The report summary said: "The report asks whether E7 believed, for good reason, that Azelle Rodney presented a threat to his life or that of his colleagues such that it was proportionate to open fire on him with a lethal weapon. The answer is that he did not."