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New Zealand-born Police Officer Shot in London

New Zealand-born Police Officer Shot in London

A New Zealander serving in the British police force was shot dead in the early hours of Friday. The shooter was being held at a police station in south London.

New Zealand-born Police Officer Shot in London

Police said the incident occurred at about 2:15 a.m. while the man was being detained at the Croydon Custody Centre, where arrested suspects are processed. The officer was treated at the scene for injuries but died in hospital.

The 23-year-old suspect is thought to have then turned the gun on himself. He was taken to hospital with a gunshot wound and is in a critical condition. Officers did not open fire.

London police chief Cressida Dick said the incident was “truly shocking” but was not being treated as terrorism.

“Our investigation is led by homicide investigators from the Specialist Crime Command,” she said in a statement. “We are not treating it as a counter-terrorism incident. We are doing all we can to establish a motive for the murder.”

Police named the victim as 54-year-old Matt Ratana, a custody sergeant who was originally from the Hawke’s Bay area of New Zealand. A former London Irish rugby player, Ratana went to school at Palmerston North Boys’ High School before attending the University of Otago where he played for Ravensbourne RFC.

He is survived by a partner and an adult son from a previous relationship.

“As a colleague, he was big in stature and big-hearted, a friendly, capable police officer.” said Dick.

“A lovely man, highly respected by officers and staff, and by the public, including suspects he arrested or dealt with in custody.”

Early indications were that the suspect shot himself, she had said earlier.

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