Police shooting: PC 'convinced' Anthony Grainger had gun

Anthony Grainger Image copyright PA
Image caption Q9 said Mr Grainger lowered his right hand in a "sudden and deliberate movement"

A police officer who shot dead an unarmed man was "absolutely convinced" he had a gun when he pulled the trigger, a public inquiry has heard.

Anthony Grainger, of Bolton, was shot in the chest during a Greater Manchester Police operation in Culcheth, Cheshire on 3 March 2012.

Giving evidence, the officer known as Q9 said he believed police were in "extreme danger" so he opened fire.

Mr Grainger, 36, lowered his right hand in a "sudden" movement, said Q9.

Image copyright GMP
Image caption Anthony Grainger was shot dead in 2012

Mr Grainger was shot through the windscreen of a stolen Audi in a car park.

He had been under surveillance as part of Operation Shire, set up to target an organised crime gang believed to be conspiring to commit armed robberies.

'No option'

The firearms officer was giving evidence at Liverpool Crown Court from behind a curtain to protect his anonymity.

He said when he took aim at the parked car and shouted "armed police show me your hands" at the occupants of the Audi, two people in the front of the vehicle, Mr Grainger and David Totton, put their hands up.

Q9 said Mr Grainger then lowered his right hand in a "sudden and deliberate movement".

The officer told the inquiry he was "sure to the point of certainty" at that moment in time he had a firearm and believed he had no other option but to shoot Mr Grainger.

Jason Beer QC, prosecuting, asked him why he did not wait to see what was in Mr Grainger's hand, to which he replied: "That would have put the oncoming team in extreme danger of being fired upon."

The inquiry heard Q9 did not make a detailed statement until six days after the shooting when all officers were taken to the same room containing a flip chart with details of the operation.

Q9 said the reason was "logistics" and denied officers had been given a copy of the briefing when preparing their statements, although the inquiry heard some parts of it were included "verbatim" in his account.

The previous day he and other firearms officers met with representatives of the Police Firearms Officers Association (PFOA) and V53, the officer who shot Mark Duggan in Tottenham, north London, in 2011.

Q9 said there was a general meeting and he then had a separate discussion with V53 which was "all about welfare post his incident".

The inquiry continues.

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