Anthony Grainger shooting: Police officer 'has no case to answer'

Anthony Grainger Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Anthony Grainger was shot dead during a planned police operation

The firearms officer who fatally shot an unarmed man will not face any misconduct charges, the police watchdog has said.

Anthony Grainger, 36, was in a stolen car when he was shot in the chest in a car park in Culcheth, Cheshire in 2012.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct said the officer had no case to answer after reviewing new evidence.

A public inquiry was highly critical of senior Greater Manchester Police (GMP) officers in the planned operation.

It follows a government report published on Tuesday on the response to the damning inquiry.

Mr Grainger, from Bolton, was sitting in an Audi car when he was shot dead by a firearms officer during a police operation on 3 March 2012.

GMP said it believed he was planning an armed robbery but the inquiry heard no firearms were found either on Mr Grainger or in the car.

The inquiry also found there was no intelligence suggesting Mr Grainger was armed.

Image copyright GMP
Image caption Mr Grainger was in a stolen Audi in a car park in Culcheth when he was shot

Following the inquiry which concluded in July, the IOPC said new evidence arose relevant to its investigation of the officer, referred to as Q9, who shot Mr Grainger.

The evidence was "partly concerning the use of force by the firearms officer," said Steve Noonan, IOPC director of major investigations.

He said the new information was reviewed "along with our 2013 findings" and it found Q9's reason for using lethal force was "honestly held and there is no case to answer in respect of their conduct".

He added: "We have informed Mr Grainger's family and the firearms officer of this outcome."

Responding to the IOPC's findings into officer Q9, GMP said: "Our thoughts remain with Mr Grainger's family and partner following the loss of their loved one."

Six officers remain under investigation for misconduct by the IOPC over the shooting.

Former Assistant Chief Constable Steven Heywood also faces a gross misconduct case but a date for the hearing has yet to be set by GMP.

A government spokesman said "lessons have been learned" to improve armed police operations in the UK following Mr Grainger's death - including the requirement that body cameras must now be worn by all specialist firearms officers.

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