SHOT DEAD: Armed police fatally opened fire at Mark Duggan
THE POLICE officer who shot Mark Duggan said he is “100 per cent sure” Duggan had a gun in his hand, claiming he fired at the Tottenham resident in self-defence.
His evidence follows the testimony of a taxi driver yesterday, in which the cabbie claimed he did not see anything in Duggan’s hand or a gun flying when he was shot.
The officer, referred to as V53, spoke at the inquest into Duggan’s death at the Royal Courts of Justice; in a room that was closed off to the press and the public.
An audio feed of his voice was relayed to a separate room.
Duggan’s shooting in August 2011 sparked rioting across London and England that summer.
V53, who was armed with a MP5 submachine gun and 9mm Glock handgun when he intercepted Duggan’s taxi, said the 29-year-old was holding a gun at hip level and "crossed a line in the sand".
He added that he has been in “hard stops” before but never had to shoot.
He also told the court that he was part of an operation that had received intelligence confirming that Duggan had a gun.
V53 insists the officers had identified themselves with badges and by shouting “armed police;” contrary to the taxi driver’s evidence in which he denied hearing or seeing anything that indicated they were being stopped by the police.
The police described the moment when Duggan alighted from the cab and allegedly refused to obey instructions to stand still.
In what he referred to as a "freeze frame moment", he said Duggan turned to face him holding the gun with his forearm parallel to the ground and pointing left across his body.
He said: "The only tunnel vision I had was his right hand and the gun in his hand."
The officer said he had "brought [his] weapon up and discharged one round".
"The round has impacted Mr Duggan on the right chest," he said.
He added that Duggan then "flinched away and the gun was then pointing towards me".
"I'm thinking 'he's gonna shoot me' so fired a second round into [his] arm."
V53 claimed he tried to help Duggan who had a "sucking chest wound." He said he performed CPR and chest compressions until the paramedics arrived on the scene.
He then went to look for the gun that Duggan was holding, but could not find it, saying it had "disappeared". The weapon was later found behind a wall.
He told the hearing: "It's 804 days since this happened. I am 100 per cent sure he was in possession of a gun at shot one and shot two."
He also stressed that neither he nor the Duggan family were responsible for the riots.
The inquest continues.