Azelle Rodney death: Mother says police 'executed' her son

Azelle Rodney
Image caption Azelle Rodney died after being shot six times in 2005

The mother of a man shot six times by an officer after a car was stopped has told an inquiry that her son appears to have been "executed" by police.

Azelle Rodney, 24, of west London, was killed after officers stopped a suspect car in Edgware, north London, in 2005.

Officers thought he and two others were on their way to commit an armed raid.

The inquiry also saw a statement from an officer, known only as E7, who said he opened fire because he feared colleagues were in immediate danger.

Mr Rodney was killed on 30 April within seconds of the Volkswagen Golf he was in being brought to a "hard stop", the inquiry heard on Monday.

Officers believed Mr Rodney, Wesley Lovell and Frank Graham had machine guns and were on their way to commit a drugs-related armed robbery, the inquiry heard.

'Criminal wrongdoing'

Mr Rodney's mother Susan Alexander questioned why her son was shot, while the other two men were left unharmed.

In a statement, she said his girlfriend was eight months pregnant at the time.

"To state the obvious they were at least able to walk away alive on 30 April and have long since served their prison sentences, while it seems to be that Azelle was executed that day and as a result never got to see his baby daughter," she said.

"I can only say that I'm still shocked that guns were found by police in the car that Azelle was travelling in when he was killed.

"I do not believe from what I have heard that police had good reason to shoot at him, let alone kill him."

Ms Alexander's barrister Leslie Thomas told the hearing Mr Rodney should have been arrested and brought to court if there was sufficient evidence against him.

"The fact that he was strongly suspected of being involved in criminal wrongdoing does not justify him or anyone else being summarily killed," he said.

'Automatic weapon'

Earlier in a statement read in court E7 said: "I believed I couldn't delay my decision to fire any longer.

"I felt that my colleagues were in immediate danger."

E7 is expected give evidence at the inquiry from behind a screen.

Samantha Leek QC, who represents the Metropolitan Police marksman, told the inquest: "He believed that Mr Rodney had picked up and was preparing to shoot a fully automatic weapon, and he fired at Mr Rodney until he believed that there was no longer a threat."

On Monday the inquiry was shown police footage of three unmarked police cars following the Golf through Mill Hill, before the vehicle was brought to a halt.

Officers were then seen getting out to apprehend the suspects after which the recording picked up the dull thuds of the bullets being fired by one of the officers.

The public inquiry, which is taking place in a court room in the High Court Principal Registry of the Family Division, is being held because an inquest could not see all the intelligence information which led police to believe Mr Rodney was armed.

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