Beds, Herts & Bucks

Idi Atiba died from 'self-inflicted gunshot wound'

Idi Atiba
Image caption Idi Atiba was treated by paramedics but died at the scene on 24 January

A father-of-two who was involved in a 16-hour stand-off with police died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest, an inquest jury has ruled.

Idi Atiba, 31, was surrounded by armed police on Leagrave Common playing fields in Luton in January 2011.

Police had received reports he had a sawn-off shotgun and feared he was on his way to kill Tanisha Jones, the mother of his second child.

The inquest jury, sitting in Dunstable, returned a narrative verdict.

Trinidad-born Mr Atiba, who worked as a car valeter, died at about 11:50 GMT on 24 January 2011.

In a statement read at the start of the five-day inquest, paramedic Gavin Turner said as he tended to the fatally injured man, police officers said he had not intended to shoot himself and that the gun had "gone off" when he moved.

'Prepared to negotiate'

Pathologist Dr Nat Carey said Mr Atiba died from a single gunshot to the upper left side of the chest.

The inquest heard Mr Atiba had made a past suicide attempt and had threatened to kill himself.

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Media captionIdi Atiba's mother Rosemary O'Garrow said if her son had known his family was at the scene, he may not have died

After the hearing, Bedfordshire Police's assistant chief constable Andrew Richer said: "The information originally received was that Mr Atiba was heading towards the home of his estranged partner and was armed with a gun.

"Officers found him in Leagrave Park and it was apparent he had a sawn-off shotgun with him, which he had already fired.

"Once Mr Atiba was contained in the park by armed police officers, and there was no direct or immediate risk to the public, police spent 16 hours negotiating with him, through the night in freezing and wet conditions.

"We were prepared to negotiate for as long as it took and always hoped that the situation could be brought to an end peacefully.

"Every effort was made by all officers concerned to try to resolve the situation safely but sadly Mr Atiba would not surrender his weapon.

"The weapon was discharged when he struck the butt of the gun into the ground."

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