Sgt Matiu Ratana with Cressida Dick

image copyrightMet police

image captionMet Commissioner Cressida Dick had worked with Sgt Matiu Ratana

A Met Police sergeant killed at a custody centre while on duty died from a gunshot wound to the chest, an inquest has heard.

New Zealand-born Sgt Matiu Ratana died in hospital after being shot by handcuffed suspect Louis De Zoysa.

Coroner Sarah Ormond-Walshe read out a preliminary post-mortem examination report at South London Coroner’s Court.

She opened and adjourned the inquest into Sgt Ratana’s death until a later date.

Sgt Ratana’s son dialled into the inquest hearing from Australia.

It comes on the day New Zealand’s High Commissioner to the UK visited the scene where Sgt Ratana was killed.

Bede Corry laid a wreath and paused briefly in front of a memorial at Croydon Custody Centre.

image copyrightPA Media
image captionNew Zealand High Commissioner Bede Corry joined Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick in Croydon on Thursday
image copyrightPA Media
image captionDozens of police officers have paid tribute to Sgt Matiu Ratana

Since Friday a shrine outside the custody centre has been lined with scores of floral bouquets and surrounded by New Zealand flags and sports jerseys.

Mr Corry said: “New Zealanders were shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic death of Sgt Matiu Ratana.

“As someone who was a police officer in New Zealand and the United Kingdom, he uniquely served both countries. We know he will be deeply missed.”

image captionLouis De Zoysa was arrested on Friday in the London Road area of Pollards Hill

The 54-year-old was killed by Mr De Zoysa – who remains critically ill at St George’s Hospital in Tooting after he was also hit by a bullet.

Mr De Zoysa, 23, had been arrested for possession of ammunition and possession of Class B drugs with intent to supply following a stop and search in the London Road area of Pollards Hill at 01:30 BST on Friday.

  • Suspect Louis De Zoysa ‘obsessed with weapons’

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The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) confirmed he was handcuffed with his hands behind his back and had been taken to the custody centre in a police vehicle, before being escorted into the building.

It was there Mr De Zoysa is said to have opened fire while still in the handcuffs as officers prepared to search him with a metal detector.

image copyrightPA Media
image captionThe Banstead farmland used to serve as an ammunition depot during the Second World War

No police firearms were discharged in the shooting, and the case is not being treated as terror-related.

Six days on from the fatal shooting detectives are still extensively searching Mr De Zoysa’s family in home in Norbury, south London, and a farmland in Banstead, Surrey, which is expected “to take days to complete”, the Met has said.
On Wednesday a man from Norwich, who was arrested on suspicion of supplying a firearm, was bailed by detectives until late October.

Related Topics

  • Croydon

  • East Grinstead
  • Metropolitan Police Service
  • New Zealand
  • Goring-by-Sea

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