Man shot dead by police in Culcheth, Cheshire

The scene of the shooting in Culcheth
Image caption The scene of the shooting in Culcheth

A man has been shot dead after a car was stopped by armed police officers in Cheshire during "a planned operation".

The shooting happened at about 19:20 GMT on Saturday as armed officers from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) stopped a car in Culcheth.

GMP Deputy Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said officers performed first aid on the man but he died at the scene.

The dead man's next of kin have been informed. Two other men were arrested.

Witness Jessica Brown, 15, said: "I saw loads of police cars driving past and I saw three men run past the pizza place with gasmasks on and guns and police chasing them.

"Then my friend's dad came and picked us up and said it wasn't safe to be out here."

Jessica's father Anthony Brown said: "I was just putting out my tea when Jessica ran in screaming.

"I went to look but the police told me to get inside. It's shocking, Culcheth is normally a quiet village."

A car has now been removed from the scene close to the village supermarket and a care home for the elderly.

The scene of the shooting, on a public car park, has been cordoned off.

'Heard screaming'

The car park off Jackson Avenue is near shops, restaurants and bars including The Cherry Tree pub.

Pub manager Mike Davies said his chef was in the rear yard at the time.

"He said he heard what he thought was a firework.

"He saw a whiff of smoke and then he heard screaming," said Mr Davies.

"We are all pretty gobsmacked that something like this could happen here in Culcheth, a semi-rural village," he said.

Mr Hopkins said: "Our thoughts are with the man's family during what will clearly be a very difficult and emotional time, and specially trained family liaison officers have been in contact with the family.

"I want to assure them that ourselves, Cheshire Police and the Independent Police Complaints Commission will carry out a thorough investigation which will establish all the facts."

Cheshire police said patrols had been increased in the area. It said the community of Culcheth "should be reassured that this is an isolated incident and there is no risk to the community as a whole".

An Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) spokesperson said: "The IPCC has been informed by Cheshire Constabulary of an incident near Jackson Avenue, Culcheth, Cheshire at approximately 7.20pm on Saturday 3 March where a man was fatally shot by armed officers from Greater Manchester Police.

"The incident has been referred to the IPCC who will independently investigate.

"IPCC investigators are at the scene and working with officers from both Greater Manchester Police and Cheshire Constabulary."

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