12 December 2021

Witness saw police surround taxi before man was fatally shot

12 December 2021

A man was shot inside a taxi close to Kensington Palace, an eyewitness said.

The witness, who has not been named, told the Sun that police stopped the black cab and shouted at the man “for about 10 seconds to get out” before they shot at him three times.

He said: “He was shot in the car, then police handcuffed him and searched him at the same time.

“He was bleeding from his mouth and it looked like he was struggling to breathe. He was in the back of the cab, as a passenger.”

A cordon was put in place along a large part of Kensington Road, as forensics officers combed the scene (Aaron Chown/PA) (PA Wire)

Another witness, who was also not named, told the Mirror he was driving past the area in Kensington Road on Saturday when he saw the incident unfold and the man being dragged out of the Mercedes taxi.

He said: “I was driving past when I saw the police cut up a black cab, so I did a U-turn and as I got out of the car I saw the police fire two shots and another shot after three or four seconds.

“I was standing around 20 metres away. I saw them drag him out of the black cab. They handcuffed him while he was on the floor. He was struggling at the start, but they had him under control.

“By then they realised he couldn’t breathe or was struggling for his breath, so they quickly started first aid and CPR.”

Police cordoned off Kensington High Street (Aaron Chown/PA) (PA Wire)

Another man said he heard police shouting before opening fire on the vehicle.

Alexis, who did not want to give his last name, told the BBC: “They shouted ‘Police’ and then they shot twice at the (Mercedes). There were two quick shots in succession.”

Alexis said he ran from the scene as he was worried the van “might explode” and heard a third shot as he did so.

A cordon was put in place along a large part of Kensington Road, as forensics officers combed the scene on Saturday night.

Within the cordon a tent had been erected and was surrounded by marked and unmarked police vehicles.

Police at the scene near Kensington Palace (Aaron Chown/PA) (PA Wire)

The Metropolitan Police said a man had died from gunshot wounds during the incident which followed reports of a man with a firearm seen entering a bank and bookmakers in the area.

According to police, the man then got into a vehicle and left the area, and a vehicle was stopped by armed officers at the junction of Kensington Road and Palace Gate shortly afterwards.

The force said the incident is not being treated as terrorism and efforts to identify the man are under way.

Officers told the PA news agency at the scene that the cordon was expected to be in place overnight.

An investigation has been launched by the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

A spokesman for the watchdog said: “After being notified of the incident by the MPS (Metropolitan Police Service,) we sent investigators to the scene and the post-incident procedure to start gathering evidence.”

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