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Inquest confirms Spencer Ashworth died of gunshot wounds after being shot near M5 by police

Spencer Ashworth was identified by his mother at Flax Bourton Public Mortuary. Photo: SWNS

An inquest into a driver shot and killed by police after reports of him waving a gun on the M5 opened today, 18 October.

Spencer Ashworth, 29, died in a red Suzuki Swift when four firearms officers targeted his stationary car just off the A369 Portbury Hundred, Portishead, Somerset.

Avon Coroners Court heard today that a post-mortem examination and a toxicology report have been carried out and coroners are awaiting the results.

The post-mortem examination has established that Mr Ashworth died of gunshot wounds although it has not yet been revealed how many times he was shot.

He was formally identified by his mother on at Flax Bourton Public Mortuary on 2 October - a week after he was shot on 27 September.

The Porbury Hundred leading to Portishead was closed for around 30 hours. Credit: ITV News

Senior Coroner Maria Voisin has adjourned the inquest pending a review on 24 January.

The shooting occurred after police received a report of a man waving a gun similar to another made earlier that morning to West Mercia Police.

Two unmarked police cars and a patrol car chased Mr Ashworth off the M5, carrying authorised firearms officers (AFOs) from Avon and Somerset Police.

Four marksmen shot a heil of bullets at the car, and images from the scene showed a handgun placed on the roof of the red hatchback.

Forensic examinations and ballistic tests are being carried out on "what appears to be a non-police issue firearm".

It has not yet been revealed exactly how many bullets were fired, but the IPCC said it was "a number" and Mr Ashworth was shot multiple times.

Ashworth died in a red Suzuki Swift after being shot on the A369 Portbury Hundred. Credit: ITV News

Police marksmen have already given their initial accounts of what happened, and were interviewed at the scene, and IPCC investigators are examining body worn video footage.

In the aftermath of the shooting, three police forces faced the possibility of an IPCC investigation - but the watchdog will not review the actions of West Mercia Police or Gloucestershire Police .

Motorists who were on the M5 at the time were urged to hand over dashcam footage to investigators, who are treating the officers as witnesses.

They are being kept under review by Avon and Somerset Constabulary.

The IPCC's investigation is ongoing.

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