First ever woman shot dead by cops in Britain after waving around handgun

A martial arts expert became the first woman ever to be shot dead by police in Britain after she waved around a handgun....

Police marksmen shoot dead 'armed' woman

11th June 2007
Daily Mail

A gun-wielding martial arts expert today became the first woman to be shot dead by police in Britain.

The 37-year-old victim was killed by an armed officer in Sevenoaks in the early hours.

The woman, who came from Sevenoaks and was known to local police, was said to be waving a handgun around just before she was shot by the marksman.

Horror on high street: The body of the 37-year-old woman shot by a police marksman in Sevenoaks is carried away

The incident happened at the town's bus station at about 1.20am and the area was still cordoned off by police when the body was removed later this afternoon.

Forensics staff and dozens of police officers were at the scene. Kent Police said the investigation was being handled by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

A police source said the burly woman was seen waving the silver handgun about just before she was shot and armed officers were called to the scene.

The source said: "She was initially reported to have been seen with a gun in the High Street.

"Police approached her but she ran down an alleyway into the car park. She was ordered to put the gun down but she refused and an officer opened fire." A spokeswoman from the IPCC said: "At 1.20am Kent Police were called to reports of a woman with a firearm in the vicinity of Sevenoaks High Street.

"Armed officers were called and a police firearm was discharged. First aid was given at the scene and an ambulance was called but the woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

"The woman has not yet been formally identified. A firearm was recovered. The IPCC is using its own investigators to enquire into the circumstances."

Nicola Williams, the IPCC commissioner, said: "I send my sympathies to the woman's family and friends and the police officers concerned.

"Whenever there is a fatal shooting by police, independent investigators immediately go to the scene."

Residents heard the shooting, which happened near the rear of Sevenoaks police station.

One, who lives just yards away, said: "My daughter was awake at the time and heard a bang.

"They cull deer in the local park and it echoes through the fields and she thought that was where the gunshot was coming from.

"We didn't go out to investigate. You can't afford to, not even in a safe place like Sevenoaks."

Michelle Williams, 28, a nurse from Sevenoaks, said: "It's scary to think something like this can happen on your doorstep.

"I didn't think Sevenoaks police were armed, so when I heard about the shooting this morning I was quite shocked.

"But to know that there was someone else on the loose with a gun is quite frightening. Things like this don't normally happen in a quiet place like Sevenoaks."

The armed police officers involved in the incident were drafted in from Tonbridge police station, the area headquarters for West Kent Police.

They arrived within 10 minutes of the woman being spotted in possession of the gun.
Well how's that for equality, eh?
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