Glasgow stabbings: Police Taser failed to disable knife attacker

By Reevel Alderson
Home affairs correspondent, BBC Scotland

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image copyrightHome Office
image captionBadreddin Abadlla Adam was shot dead by police after attacking six people, including a police officer

Police officers called to a hotel where six people were injured in a stabbing attack on Friday used a Taser in an attempt to disable the suspect, BBC Scotland understands.

The Taser failed to disable Badreddin Abadlla Adam, a Sudanese asylum seeker, and firearms officers fatally shot him.

The incident took place at the Park Inn hotel on Glasgow's West George Street, which was being used to house asylum seekers due to the pandemic.

Mr Adam's death is being investigated.

The investigation by the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Pirc) was ordered by prosecutors at the Crown Office - which is routine where police firearms are deployed.

Its focus is to determine whether the use of a firearm by officers was necessary, justified and proportionate.

Pirc seized the weapon involved, and will take statements from all of the officers at the scene, as well as other witnesses.

image captionPC David Whyte is being treated in hospital for serious injuries

It also has CCTV footage from officers' body-worn cameras, and BBC Scotland understands this shows officers first used a Taser on the Sudanese man who had already stabbed six people, including Constable David Whyte.

But it is understood the Taser failed to disable Mr Adam who was then fatally shot by a specialist armed officer.

He was the first person to die as a result of a shot fired by a Police Scotland officer since the force was formed in 2013.

Overall police firearms incidents are extremely rare.

In 2018-19, Pirc investigated just two involving conventional firearms: one in which a weapon was presented, the other where it was discharged.

Even if no other person is involved, for instance if a marksman were to shoot out the tyres of a vehicle, there would be a Pirc inquiry.

image copyrightPA Media
image captionAsylum seekers had been moved into the Park Inn in response to the coronavirus pandemic

In the two previous years, there were a total of five incidents involving the use of police firearms.

Pirc also investigates the discharge of Tasers - and in 2018-19 there were seven of these incidents.

Police Scotland has trained and equipped about 500 Specially Trained Officers (STOs) who were routinely armed with Tasers from June 2018 onwards.Police Taser failed to disable knife attacker

At the time, Pirc said: "Generally, it appears that the use of Tasers by STOs increased their safety and allowed them to resolve incidents quickly without having to call upon the force's limited number of specialist firearms officers."

The Scottish Police Authority (SPA), which has oversight of the national force, published a report in 2015 into the policies surrounding the deployment of armed officers.

It followed controversy about the use of armed officers on routine duties such as city centre street patrols.

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