List of killings by law enforcement officers in the United Kingdom

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This list of people killed by law enforcement officers in the United Kingdom documents cases of people who died directly or indirectly because of the actions of British law enforcement officers, regardless of the manner of death, duty status of the officers, or if they acted officially or unofficially. It includes officers working for all law enforcement agencies, existing or historical, in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, but excludes crown dependencies, colonies or other political entities subject or previously subjected to the direct control of the government of the United Kingdom. It also excludes deaths for which other government agents are responsible, such as deaths as a result of actions of the British Armed Forces. Earlier deaths in the mid-20th century also may not as be well documented; only deaths which have been confirmed by press releases or other media sources are listed.

Single deaths[edit]

Since 2000[edit]

Name Date Location Police force Description
Usman Khan 29 November 2019 London City of London Police Usman Khan stabbed 5 people including two who later died in the vicinity of London Bridge. It is reported the attacker was wearing a "hoax" suicide vest. The attacker was shot twice by police and died at the scene.[1]
Trevor Smith 15 March 2019 Birmingham West Midlands Police Firearms officers surrounded a property in Birmingham shortly before 5 am. Trevor Smith was killed with one single gunshot and died at the scene. West Midlands Police later revealed that following the shooting a non-police issued firearm was recovered from the property.[citation needed]
Sean Fitzgerald 4 January 2019 Coventry, Warwickshire West Midlands Police Armed officers arrived at an address to make an arrest which resulted in Fitzgerald who was unarmed being shot dead. Witnesses reported hearing four or five gunshots at the property and he was pronounced dead at the scene. Two other men were arrested at the scene on suspicion of cultivating cannabis.[2]
Richard Cottier 9 April 2018 Romford, London Metropolitan Police Officers responded when Cottier called the police in the early hours of the morning informing them that he had taken an overdose and claiming that he had a firearm in his possession. A further call from a member of the public reporting a man with a firearm was also received. Cottier was located at the Esso petrol station on Collier Row Road and officers fired two shots. He died at the scene.[3] He was shot at about 04:45 BST and was pronounced dead at 05:17.[4]
Spencer Ashworth 27 September 2017 Portishead, Somerset Avon and Somerset Constabulary At around 9:30 in the morning, officers fired shots at a car on the A369 resulting in the death of Ashworth. Avon and Somerset Police said it acted following reports of a man in a car with a handgun. It is also reported that Ashworth had threatened other motorists. Witnesses said Ashworth was shot up to 10 times through the passenger window before he was pulled from the car by officers who began attempting to resuscitate him. A non-police issued firearm was recovered at the scene of the shooting.[5]
Edson Da Costa 21 June 2017 Beckton, London Metropolitan Police Service Police stopped the car Da Costa was travelling in and subdued him with CS gas. A postmortem examination did not establish a cause of death. Police maintain they did not use excessive force; however, Da Costa's family alleged he was violently assaulted. A protest was later held, resulting in damage to Forest Gate police station.
Khalid Masood[6] 22 March 2017 Westminster, London Metropolitan Police Service After using a vehicle to hit pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, Masood entered the grounds of the Palace of Westminster, where he fatally stabbed an unarmed police officer. An armed police officer, believed to have been the Metropolitan Police close protection officer for Michael Fallon, the Secretary of State for Defence, witnessed the stabbing, ran towards the scene and fatally shot Masood.[7]
Yassar Yaqub[8] 2 January 2017 Huddersfield West Yorkshire Police Yaqub was shot by police at junction 24 of the M62, after they received a tip-off that he was armed and carrying a gun in the silver Audi in which he was a passenger.[9]
Lewis Skelton[10] 29 November 2016 Hull Humberside Police Reportedly wielding an axe, Skelton was shot by armed response officers during the morning of 29 November. He was taken to hospital where he later died of his injuries.[11]
Josh Pitt[12] 9 November 2016 Luton, Bedfordshire Bedfordshire Police Police responded to reports of woman being attacked in a house. Shortly after arriving on the scene, armed police officers shot Pitt. Pitt was treated at the scene by officers and paramedics before being taken to hospital, but was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at hospital. Police recovered a "number of knives" at the scene.[13]
Dalian Atkinson 15 August 2016 Telford, Shropshire West Mercia Police Police had responded to a call as Atkinson threatened to kill his father, Ernest. Atkinson's older brother Kenroy said "My brother had lost it. He was in a manic state and depressed – out of his mind and ranting. He had a tube in his shoulder for the dialysis and he had ripped it out and was covered in blood. He got dad by the throat and said he was going to kill him. He told dad he had already killed me, our brother Paul and sister Elaine and he had come for him."[14] After being tasered, Atkinson went into cardiac arrest on the way to the Princess Royal Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.[15]
William Smith[16] 2 May 2016 Goudhurst, Kent Kent Police Kent Police fatally shot Smith during an armed operation. Smith was on bail in connection with the death of a 73-year-old man in Kent.[16]
James Wilson[17] 29 March 2016 South Shields, Northumbria Northumbria Police James Wilson was shot in the chest by officers who were called to Frenchman's Way in the early hours of 29 March after reports of a man in the street with a handgun.

Wilson was taken to Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary, but died late on 1 April.[17]

Jermaine Baker[18] 11 December 2015 Wood Green, London Metropolitan Police Service Metropolitan Police Service specialist firearms officers were involved in stopping an attempt to intercept a secure van transporting prisoners. Three men were planning to free Izzet Eren who was being taken in a prison van to Wood Green crown court over firearms offences. Baker was in the front seat of a vehicle with two other occupants where he received a fatal single gunshot wound as police surrounded his vehicle. He was unarmed, although there was an imitation Uzi in the rear foot-well behind the driver's seat.[19][20]
Richard Davies[21] 21 October 2015 St Neots, Cambridgeshire Cambridgeshire Police Davies was fatally shot 15 minutes after police arrived, responding to a report of a domestic incident in a house.[21]
James Fox[22] 30 August 2015 London Metropolitan Police Service Fox was shot by Metropolitan Police armed officers after reportedly making threats to kill.
Dean Joseph[23][24][25] 5 September 2014 London Metropolitan Police Service After holding a woman at gunpoint in an armed standoff with police officers, a police marksman fired two shots which resulted in the death of Joseph. The IPCC ruled that the killing had been in line with policy and was also lawful.[26]
Anthony Grainger [27] 3 March 2012 Cheshire Greater Manchester Police Grainger was shot and killed by an armed officer in Culcheth, Cheshire, on 3 March 2012. At the time, Grainger was unarmed. In January 2014 the Crown Prosecution Service announced that they would be prosecuting Chief Constable Peter Fahy under health and safety legislation over the shooting, and a full public inquiry into Grainger's death was announced in early 2016.
Mark Duggan 4 August 2011 London Metropolitan Police Service The MPS stated that officers were attempting to arrest Duggan on suspicion of planning an attack, and that he was in possession of a handgun. Duggan died from a gunshot wound to the chest. The circumstances of Duggan's killing resulted in public protests in Tottenham, which led to conflict with police and escalated into riots across London and other English cities. In January 2014 a jury returned the verdict of lawful killing.[28]
Kingsley Burrell[29] 31 March 2011 Birmingham West Midlands Police Died as a result of neglect after being detained under the Mental Health Act.[29]
Olaseni Lewis 3 September 2010 London Metropolitan Police Service After being admitted to a mental health ward by his parents. Lewis died 3 days after a period of prolonged restraint by police officers. It was identified that a litany of failures by both police and medical staff that contributed to Lewis's death.[30] However the misconduct case was dismissed on 6 October 2017 as claims of wrongdoing were "unproven" and any failings were "performance matters".[31]
Keith Richards[32] 12 May 2009 Shildon, Durham Durham Constabulary Shot after brandishing a crossbow and urging police to shoot him.[32]
Ian Tomlinson 1 April 2009 London Metropolitan Police Service Tomlinson collapsed and died after being struck by a police officer during the 2009 G-20 summit protests. After an inquest jury returned a verdict of unlawful killing, the officer, Simon Harwood, was prosecuted for manslaughter. He was found not guilty but was dismissed from the police service for gross misconduct.
Mervyn Tussler[33] 8 May 2009 Fernhurst, West Sussex Sussex Police Fired on police officers from his bed in a care home.[33] Inquest jury returned a verdict of lawful killing.[33]
David Sycamore[34] 30 November 2008 Guildford, Surrey Surrey Police Shot after displaying a replica pistol and saying he would "start shooting people".[34]
Andrew Hammond[35] 29 October 2008 Harold Hill, London Metropolitan Police Service Shot after pointing "assault rifle-type weapons" at passersby in Romford
Sean Rigg 21 August 2008 Brixton, London Metropolitan Police Service Rigg died following a cardiac arrest while in police custody at the entrance to Brixton police station. The Independent Police Complaints Commission concluded that there was no evidence of neglect or wrongdoing and that the police had acted "reasonably and proportionately". The case became a cause célèbre for civil rights and justice campaigners in the United Kingdom, who called for "improvement and change on a national level" regarding deaths in police custody and the police treatment of suspects with mental health issues.[36]
Habib Ullah[37] 3 July 2008 High Wycombe Thames Valley Police Suffered cardiac arrest whilst being restrained during search.
Mark Saunders[38] 6 May 2008 London Metropolitan Police Service Shot after discharging a shotgun. Witnesses said he had not fired for 20 minutes, and was negotiating with police officers, immediately before he was shot.[38]
Dayniel Tucker[39] 29 December 2007 Stansted, Kent Kent Police Shot after pointing a replica Uzi machine gun at police.[39]
Ann Sanderson[40] 11 June 2007 Sevenoaks, Kent Kent Police Sanderson was shot in an armed standoff with police in the early hours of 11 June. Sanderson had a troubled past and diary extracts written by her detailed how she took comfort from self-harming and could trust no-one. She had bought an air rifle days before her death but a close friend said she did not think she had intended to commit suicide. The case was ruled as a lawful killing as Sanderson had instigated the incident.[41]
Terry Nicholas[42] 15 May 2007 Ealing, London Metropolitan Police Service Nicholas was shot after brandishing a handgun at police officers attempting to arrest him, firing at least one shot in the process.[43]
Robert Haines[44] 31 October 2006 New Romney, Kent Kent Police Shot after firing on police during an armed robbery.[44]
Steven Colwell [45] 16 April 2006 Ballynahinch, Co Down, Northern Ireland
Philip Marsden[46] 19 December 2005 Meir, Staffordshire Staffordshire Police Shot after adopting a "firing stance", while carrying a sword and imitation fire arm.[46]
Craig King[42] 10 September 2005 Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester Greater Manchester Police
Jean Charles de Menezes 22 July 2005 London Metropolitan Police Service Menezes was a Brazilian man killed by officers of the London Metropolitan Police Service at Stockwell Station on the London Underground after he was wrongly deemed to be one of the fugitives involved in the previous day's failed bombing attempts. These events took place two weeks after the London bombings of 7 July 2005, in which 52 people were killed. The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) launched two investigations. In July 2006, the Crown Prosecution Service said that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute any named individual police officers in a personal capacity, although a criminal prosecution of the Commissioner in his official capacity on behalf of his police force was brought under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, on the failure of the duty of care due to Menezes. The Commissioner was found guilty and his office was fined.[47][48]
John Mark Scott[49] 16 July 2005 Stockfield, Northumberland Northumbria Police Shot after discharging a shotgun. Scott's shotgun licences had previously been revoked.
Azelle Rodney 30 April 2005 London Metropolitan Police Service Rodney was driven by associates Wesley Lovell and Frank Graham in a hired silver Volkswagen Golf. The three drove across north London after they were observed by police to pick up three weapons, believed to be MAC-10 sub-machine guns. Metropolitan Police Service specialist firearms officers performed a Hard Stop manoeuvre in which one officer fired eight shots, 6 of which hit Rodney in the head, neck and chest. After a public inquiry led by Lord Bach, it was found that the killing of Rodney was unlawful and eventually resulted in the case for prosecution of the officer who fired the fatal shots for the charges of murder. However, the jury found the officer not guilty.[50]
Simon Murden[42] 22 March 2005 Hull, Humberside Humberside Police Murden was alleged to have been suffering a psychotic episode. He left his house and drove a van against the flow of traffic which resulted in the collision with another vehicle. Murden abandoned the vehicle and took with what some witnesses described as a weapon. Armed police officers engaged and Murden sustained multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene. An independent inquest ruled it was a lawful killing.[51]
Nicholas Palmer[42] 12 May 2004 Thornton Heath, London Greater Manchester Police Palmer was killed while on bail for arms offences, his death ruled as being lawful.
Philip Prout[52] 4 May 2004 Cornwall Devon and Cornwall Police Prout was shot during a siege in a village in Cornwall. He was allegedly carrying a samurai sword when he was killed.
Keith Larkins[53] 6 June 2003 Heathrow Airport, London Metropolitan Police Service Larkins, who was reported to be mentally ill, shot blanks from a replica firearm. Two police officers then fired on Larkins, resulting in his death. The incident was ruled as a lawful killing.[53]
Derek Bennett[42] 16 July 2001 Brixton, London Greater Manchester Police With a replica gun, Bennet threatened members of the public and then pointed the replica at armed police officers who fired on Bennet four times. Bennet had respotedly boasted to friends that the replica was real but on closer inspection it was revealed to be a novelty cigarette lighter. A verdict confirmed the case as a lawful killing.[54]
Andrew Kernan[55] 21 July 2001 Liverpool Merseyside Police Kernan suffered from schizophrenia and during an episode police were called to his home. He fled and brandished a samurai sword; after a stand-off two shots were fired and Kernan was killed. After a four-year inquiry the killing was deemed lawful.[55]
Patrick O'Donell[42] 30 October 2000 Islington, London Greater Manchester Police O'Donell was killed by police marksman after taking his mother and girlfriend hostage in a siege.
Kirk Davies[42] 24 September 2000 Wakefield, West Yorkshire West Yorkshire Police Davies walked into a police station with an air gun and threatened the staff inside. A manhunt was launched and a tip-off to police eventually led to him being surrounded by armed officers outside Newton Lodge secure psychiatric unit, but Davies ignored repeated requests to give himself up before marksmen opened fire. Davies was taken to Pinderfields Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Davies was regarded as being "emotionally disturbed" and was suffering from PTSD after fighting in the Croatian Army in the Croatian War of Independence. It is believed he was suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder.[56]

Before 2000[edit]

  • Harry Stanley (22 September 1999 in London, England)
  • Derek Bateman (June 1999 in North Holmwood, Surrey)[42]
  • Antony Kitts (April 1999 in Falmouth, Cornwall)[42]
  • Christopher Alder (1 April 1998 in Hull, Humberside)[57]
  • Michael Fitzgerald (February 1998 in Bedford)[42]
  • James Ashley (15 January 1998 in St Leonards, England)[58]
  • David Howell (November 1996 in Birmingham, West Midlands)[42][failed verification]
  • Diarmuid O'Neill (23 September 1996 in London, England)
  • John Christopher Gardiner (10 May 1996 in Blackburn, Lancashire)
  • Inrahim Sey (16 March 1996, in Ilford)[59][60]
  • David Ewin (April 1995 in Barnes, West London)[42]
  • James Brady (April 1995 in Newcastle)[42]
  • Richard O'Brien (4 April 1994 in London, England)
  • Joy Gardner (1 August 1993, in Crouch End, London)
  • Leon Patterson (27 November 1992 in Manchester, England)
  • Pearse Jordan (25 November 1992 in Belfast, Northern Ireland)
  • Cynthia Jarrett, accidental death[61]/heart failure (5 October 1985 in Tottenham, London)[62]
  • Cherry Groce (28 September 1985 in Lambeth, London)
  • John Shorthouse (24 August 1985 in Birmingham, West Midlands)[63]
  • John Mikkelson, misadventure[64](July 1985 in London)[65]
  • Sean McIlvenna (17 December 1984 in Blackwatertown, Northern Ireland)
  • James Kelly, killed in police custody (21 June 1979 in Liverpool, England)
  • Gail Kinchen, accidentally shot by police while being held as a hostage on 12 June 1980; died later in hospital.[66]
  • Blair Peach (died 24 April 1979 in London, England)
  • William Strathearn, unlawfully killed (19 April 1977 in Ahoghill, Northern Ireland)
  • James Griffiths (15 July 1969 in Glasgow, Scotland) [67]
  • Kevin Gately (died 15 June 1974 in London)
  • Percy Toplis (6 June 1920 in Cumberland, England)
  • Maud Smith (7 June 1893 at Wormwood Scrubs, London). Smith was killed by PC George Cooke, who was subsequently convicted of her murder and hanged.[68][69]
  • Michael Wise (24 August 1687 in Salisbury)

Multiple deaths in a single incident[edit]

Names Date Location Description
  • Jane Boyle
  • James Burke
  • Daniel Carroll
  • Michael Feery
  • Michael ‘Mick’ Hogan
  • Tom Hogan
  • James Matthews
  • Patrick O’Dowd
  • Jerome O’Leary
  • William Robinson
  • Tom Ryan
  • John William Scott
  • James Teehan
  • Joe Traynor
  • Dick McKee*
  • Peadar Clancy*
  • Conor Clune*
21 November 1972 Dublin, UK Bloody Sunday (1920)

Bloody Sunday (Irish: Domhnach na Fola) was a day of violence in Dublin on 21 November 1920, during the Irish War of Independence. In total, 32 people were killed, including thirteen British soldiers and police, sixteen Irish civilians, and three Irish republican prisoners. This includes people who were mortally wounded, but died later. Royal Marines officer Hugh Montgommery was shot in the morning and died on 10 December, and three people who were wounded at Croke Park died later – Robinson and Carroll on 23 November and Tom Hogan on 26 November.

The day began with an Irish Republican Army (IRA) operation, organised by Michael Collins, to assassinate the 'Cairo Gang' – a team of undercover British intelligence agents working and living in Dublin. IRA members went to a number of addresses and shot dead fourteen people (in addition, Montgomery was mortally wounded and died on 10 December): nine British Army officers (including Montgomery), a Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) officer, two members of the Auxiliary Division, two civilians, and one man (Leonard Wilde) whose exact status is uncertain.

Later that afternoon, members of the Auxiliary Division and RIC opened fire on the crowd at a Gaelic football match in Croke Park, killing eleven civilians and wounding at least sixty, three of which died later (Robinson and Carroll on 23 November and Tom Hogan on 26 November). That evening, three IRA suspects being held in Dublin Castle were beaten and killed by their captors, who claimed they were trying to escape.

  • John Gallagher
  • Patrick Rooney
  • Hugh McCabe
  • Samuel McLarnon
  • Michael Lynch
14–15 August 1969 Belfast and Armagh, Northern Ireland 1969 Northern Ireland riots
  • Michael Flynn
  • Nicholas Payne
15 July 1987 Plumstead, London Michael Flynn and Nicholas Payne were shot dead by police during an attempted armed robbery of a wages van at an abattoir in Shooters Hill. The marksman feared for the life of the van driver and fired on both of the assailants, who both died at the scene.
  • Mark Nunes
  • Andrew Markland
13 September 2007 Chandler's Ford, Hampshire Armed robbers. Nunes was shot by police when he aimed a handgun at the head of a security guard during a cash delivery. Markland was shot after he picked up Nunes's weapon.[70]
  • Khuram Shazad Butt
  • Rachid Redouane
  • Youssef Zaghba
3 June 2017 Southwark, London Terrorists shot during the June 2017 London Bridge attack

See also[edit]


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