Greenwich shooting: Man shot by armed police in abdomen was holding BB gun, IOPC finds

The man, 36, was shot by firearms officers in the torso after being seen brandishing a gun. His injuries are not considered to be life changing or life threatening.

The man shot by armed police in Greenwich had been holding an airsoft BB gun, the police watchdog has found.

Firearms officers used a Taser and shot the 36-year-old in the abdomen after he had been seen with a firearm on the Creek Road bridge, on Friday August 5.

He was treated by paramedics and taken to hospital. His injuries are not considered to be life changing or life threatening.

The bridge - which links Deptford and Greenwich - was closed for several hours, however the Met confirmed the incident was not terrorism related.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), the police watchdog, opened an investigation into the shooting within hours.

Armed police and paramedics in Creek Road, Greenwich, after police shot a man who was reportedly brandishing a gun. Credit: Gemma Rose

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In its first findings, investigators confirmed a non-police issue firearm was found at the scene and ballistic testing confirmed it was a BB calibre airsoft pistol.

BB guns are a type of airgun which shoot small metallic projectiles. They are legal in the UK, however the weapons are subject to imitation firearms laws.

They cannot be carried in a public place, unless they’re in a bag, and cannot be pointed at people or animals. Visually they look very similar to real guns.

Regional IOPC director for London Sal Naseem said: “The discharge of police firearms are rare but when this occurs it is important a thorough and independent investigation takes place.

“We are working to establish all the circumstances surrounding the sequence of events which led to this man sustaining his injuries.

“Our investigation is still in its very early stages.”

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A stock photo of an airsoft BB gun with BB pellets, the kind of firearm which was found at the scene after the Greenwich shooting. Credit: Adobe Stock

The IOPC said that it was informed of the shooting by the Met Police shortly after 4pm on Friday and sent investigators to the scene and to the police post incident procedure to start gathering evidence.

The watchdog said: “As part of our independent investigation, we will gather and analyse a range of evidence – including body worn video, CCTV and eye witness accounts, as well as the initial accounts of police officers.”

Onlookers told LondonWorld about the dramatic moments after the shooting. Gemma Rose, whose flat overlooks Creek Road, said she heard a bang and thought there had been a car crash.

Police searched the grey car in Creek Road, Greenwich, while tending to the man who was shot by armed officers. Credit: Gemma Rose

“I heard a lot of shouting - which I didn’t think anything of - and then 10 seconds later there was a big bang, and I thought a car had gone into the bridge because it sounded really loud,” she said.

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“A few minutes later there were loads of police sirens, so I went to the window of our flat and I could see a guy on the floor receiving medical attention by about six police officers.”

Gemma said she saw the gunshot wound was in his torso.

“They had him on his side, and he had what looked like a wound in his back, but they were also treating him on his front,” she explained.

“Two ambulances arrived and two armed police trucks, and loads of armed police came out.”

A grey car was left in the middle of the road, which Gemma said was being searched thoroughly.

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“They stripped the guy of his clothing to give his medical attention, and put a safety blanket over him and put him into the ambulance,” she continued.

“I think he must have been stable at that point because they didn’t seem in a rush to get him out.”