Buckingham Palace shooting: Off-duty policeman dies

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The man was shot by the police on the palace grounds and pronounced dead at the scene

A man was killed in a shooting involving police on the grounds of Britain’s most famous palace on Monday afternoon.

Scotland Yard said shots were fired on the Buckingham Palace doorstep at approximately 12:00 BST.

A spokeswoman said officers had rushed to reports of shots fired, and found a man was deceased outside the palace.

Metropolitan Police later confirmed the man was an off-duty officer.

It added that he had been a member of its firearms unit, having been a police officer for three years.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The Houses of Parliament are across the Thames from Buckingham Palace

“Officers continue to work alongside colleagues from the Met’s firearms command to establish the circumstances,” the Metropolitan Police said in a statement.

“We are not looking for anyone else in connection with this incident.”

There were no reported arrests, and the cordon around the palace was reopened.

“Inquiries to establish what the circumstances were will continue,” the spokeswoman added.

Buckingham Palace was not immediately available for comment.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Police inside Buckingham Palace

Police said officers responded to reports of shots fired just outside The Mall – the street running along the Palace grounds – on The Mall at about 12:00 BST.

Image copyright PA Image caption Visitors said police had taped off the Crown Jewels Gallery and The Mall in front of the palace

They then found a man “deceased” outside the property.

A BBC producer in London said she heard a couple of shots fired, and saw a police car pulling out of the palace with a man in handcuffs inside.

He then told her he had been shot in the shoulder and head.

Image copyright AFP Image caption Pictures showed a cordon around The Mall on Monday

Police were accompanied by fire and ambulance units, as well as the RAF.

The Royal Collection tweeted that it would open The Mall to visitors later on Monday.

Image copyright PA Image caption Police seal off the grounds of Buckingham Palace

Mia Redfield, from Reading, told the BBC she was visiting nearby Commonwealth Day celebrations at The Mall when she saw police and medics in full turnout and paramedics carrying a stretcher.

“So we knew something quite serious had happened by the commotion of police and medics,” she said.

“There was one policeman who was looking especially distressed, so we assumed the worst.”

Readers on Twitter described being shocked to see a police helicopter hovering above the palace grounds, describing the incident as “sudden and surprising”.

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The Commons and Lords responded to the shooting with statements from Speaker Bercow and Bill Rammell, a Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords.

They said The Mall and Buckingham Palace “are a source of enormous pride” for the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

The Guardian said reports that gunshots had been fired “in the vicinity of the Queen” had caused some panic among tourists taking photographs of the palace.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The man was shot on the palace grounds and pronounced dead at the scene

Opinion

Nick Clegg, former Deputy Prime Minister, said on Twitter: “Absolutely dreadful news from Buckingham Palace. Thoughts are with the family.”

Labour MP David Lammy tweeted that it was a “sad day” and people should remember that “we are more united and much stronger when divided than we are when united”.

This story was updated on Monday to correct the name of the man killed.

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