England

Tasers fired at gunman Raoul Moat, police confirm

Police involved in a six-hour stand-off with gunman Raoul Moat fired two Taser stun guns at him, it has emerged.

Moat is thought to have shot himself after officers cornered him by a river in Rothbury, Northumberland late on Friday following a week-long manhunt.

The BBC has learned a post-mortem examination showed he died from wounds consistent with the weapon he carried.

The 37-year-old was wanted over the shooting of his ex-girlfriend, her new partner and a police officer.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is investigating the events leading up to Moat's death.

Meanwhile, Moat's family are considering questioning the post mortem results and whether to ask for a second independent autopsy.

The former nightclub bouncer, from the Fenham area of Newcastle, was pronounced dead at the city's General Hospital at 0220 BST on Saturday.

Police said it appeared Moat, a father-of-three, shot himself at about 0115 BST.

The mother of Chris Brown, whom it is alleged Moat shot and killed one week ago, said she was "relieved it's all over with no further injury or loss of life".

Northumbria Police Temporary Chief Constable Sue Sim said officers had been "striving to persuade" Moat to give himself up peacefully.

She said: "During this time officers discharged Taser. However this did not prevent his death."

She said no gunshots were fired by police.

The IPCC later confirmed two Tasers - which are designed to temporarily paralyse a target by delivering electric shocks of up to 50,000 volts - had been fired at Moat.

Prison warning

Det Ch Supt Neil Adamson added: "The past seven days have been challenging to say the least.

"We were faced with a series of extraordinary events which have tested the resolve and professionalism of all involved.

"My inquiries were frustrated by a number of significant challenges, including apparent support and assistance for Moat from third parties."

IPCC Commissioner Nicholas Long said two investigations were now under way.

The first is into a warning given to Northumbria Police by Durham Prison that Moat had threatened his former girlfriend Samantha Stobbart.

The second relates to the investigation and circumstances surrounding Moat's death.

Mr Long said: "We will be examining whether correct procedures were followed by Northumbria Police and the detail of how this incident came to a conclusion.

"A full investigation will now be carried out and we will publish our findings in due course so that there is a public account answering the many questions that people will have."

The IPCC report and the post-mortem findings will both be sent to the coroner who will hold an inquest into the death at a later date.

Officers discovered Moat armed on the riverbank at about 1900 BST on Friday and negotiators were brought in to speak to him.

Image caption Moat was wanted over three shootings on Tyneside

A forensic examination of the scene where Moat died was ongoing on Saturday.

The investigation was also focussing on an area close to a culvert near the River Coquet, where it is thought Moat had hidden from searchers.

Yvette Foreman, who lives in Rothbury and is a former girlfriend of Moat's, told BBC News: "I did tell the police that he would be heading up here.

"I predicted that he was going to head up here because he liked Rothbury. Rothbury was his favourite place in the whole world.

"I've been absolutely terrified while he's been around thinking, 'Oh, has he come up here to look for me'."

Meanwhile, Moat's uncle, Charles Alexander, said he felt there is a question mark over his nephew's death and he does not believe he ever posed a threat to the wider public as the police have said.

He said everybody else affected "has got closure" whereas Moat's family has not.

"I know he's done a terrible, heinous thing," said Mr Alexander.

"I don't think he was a threat to the public. At the time he was more of a threat to himself."

Armoured vehicles

Moat had been on the run for a week after allegedly shooting his ex-girlfriend Samantha Stobbart and killing her new partner, Chris Brown.

The attacks took place in the Scafell area of Birtley, near Gateshead, on Saturday 3 July.

In the early hours of Sunday 4 July, Moat is alleged to have shot Pc David Rathband as he sat in his patrol car in East Denton, near Newcastle.

Moat was released from prison on Thursday 1 July.

Armed officers descended on Rothbury on Tuesday following the discovery of a Lexus he was believed to have been driving.

Hundreds of officers from 15 forces were involved in the search, along with armoured vehicles from Northern Ireland, and an RAF Tornado.

Northumbria Police said he appeared to have a grudge against the force and, in a letter purportedly written by him, he threatened to keep shooting officers until he was dead.

Police later warned of a wider threat to the public.

Police said that warning followed the discovery of a Dictaphone containing four hours of recordings in which Moat said he was unhappy with the way details of his private life were being reported and unless that stopped he would start targeting members of the public.

It also emerged Moat had indicated to police he had "significant unhappiness" with what he considered to be misreporting by the media and believed the police were manipulating the media deliberately.

Police said he threatened to harm members of the public for each inaccuracy he perceived.

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