Coventry & Warwickshire

Sean Fitzgerald: Officer investigated over fatal shooting

Sean Fitzgerald Image copyright Other
Image caption Police investigators have met Sean Fitzgerald's family, his inquest was told

A police officer who shot dead an unarmed man during a planned operation in Coventry is being investigated, an inquest hearing has been told.

Sean Fitzgerald, 31, was hit when he fled from the rear of a house as police entered through the front on 4 January, police investigators said.

No weapons were found after the raid, the opening of his inquest heard.

The investigation will look at the "decisions and actions of the police officer who fired the shot".

Speaking at the hearing in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, Andrew Beech, a team leader at the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), said the "intelligence and operational planning" before the raid will also be looked at.

Image caption Friends and family of Mr Fitzgerald attended Thursday's hearing

He said all police officers involved in the "intelligence-led" operation were being treated as witnesses.

"The officers got to the address and began to force entry," he said.

"Mr Fitzgerald ran out of the back of the premises and was shot and fatally wounded by an armed officer who was covering the rear of the house," he said.

A post-mortem test confirmed Mr Fitzgerald, who friends say had served in the military, died of a single gunshot wound to the chest.

Image caption Houses were cordoned off after the raid

Two men arrested after the raid have since been released.

"My colleagues went through the police post-incident process," Mr Beech said.

"They went to the scene, they went to the hospital and they also met with Mr Fitzgerald's family."

A liaison officer is in touch with his family, and he confirmed the investigation is still in its "early stages" but is expected to be completed in June.

Coroner Sean McGovern told the family: "I know it's been a shocking thing that's happened."

The hearing was adjourned for a date to be set.

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