Essex

Essex Police acted reasonably in Dunmow 'death by cop' attempt shooting

Police seal off part of Great Dunmow
Image caption Part of Great Dunmow was sealed off following the stand-off

Officers who shot a man holding a replica gun at them "acted reasonably", a police watchdog has found.

Stephen Debley told passers-by to call a newspaper as he was going to have "a shoot-out with the old bill".

Debley was shot and injured in Knights Way, Great Dunmow, in September 2015 after threatening to kill police officers with a gun.

An Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation report found officers "had to take action".

Image caption Police were shouting "put the gun down", a resident said

Debley, from Dunmow, was the first person shot by Essex Police in more than 30 years.

Shot in the leg and Tasered, Debley had twice previously attempted suicide, Chelmsford Crown Court heard in 2016.

He was trying to end his life in a "death by cop" incident, a recognised form of attempted suicide in which people deliberately provoke police officers into using their weapons.

Debley was jailed in February 2016 for six years for the gun possession offence and two years for affray, to run concurrently.

IPCC commissioner Mary Cunneen said: "This was a fast moving incident in which officers had to make split-second decisions. Mr Debley had made threats to kill and later pointed a gun at officers in a residential area.

"Evidence provided to the investigation supported the belief of firearms officers that they had to take action to prevent Mr Debley from causing serious injury or death."

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