Page last updated at 18:45 GMT, Wednesday, 5 August 2009 19:45 UK

Officer hurt in street shooting

The abandoned cycle at the scene
The suspect abandoned his cycle in the Hatfields area, police said

A police officer has been injured in a shooting incident in a busy shopping area in London.

Armed officers were called to The Cut, between Waterloo East and Southwark stations, shortly after 1500 BST.

Acting Ch Insp Malcolm Noone said officers asked a man on a bicycle to stop. But as they approached him he ran on to Blackfriars Road.

As two officers gave chase they were fired upon more than once and the man fled from the scene.

Witnesses 'shocked'

No-one has been arrested and the weapon used in the incident has not been recovered.

One officer sustained a minor injury to his thigh, but police have been unable to confirm whether it was a bullet wound.

The second officer was treated for shock. Both were taken to hospital.

Police said the suspect, described as a mixed-race man, abandoned his cycle in the Hatfields area, before running towards Isabella Street and on to Blackfriars Road, where he fired at the officers.

Describing the incident Mr Noone said: "Officers from Kennington police station stopped to speak to a male on a pedal cycle on Cons Street.

We saw the man run past followed by two policemen and we were laughing at it, singing the theme to The Bill
Jill Cartwright, witness

"As the officers approached this male, he dumped the pedal cycle and ran off into Blackfriars Road.

"As the officers ran into Blackfriars Road they were fired upon and the man ran off."

He added: "There is an ongoing investigation into the full circumstances and to locate this individual."

Jill Cartwright, 35, a yoga teacher from Putney, south-west London, was eating with four friends at the Thai Silk restaurant in Isabella Street when the gunman came past, followed by two officers.

She said: "We saw the man run past followed by two policemen and we were laughing at it, singing the theme to The Bill.

"He didn't even look to be running very fast, but then he turned around and he fired.

"He was running as he turned and shot. It didn't sound like a real gun, it sounded something like a starter gun, but it shocked us."

Sideways 'leap'

Daniel Bradley, 26, an editor from Surrey Quays, south-east London, also witnessed the incident.

He said: "One of the cops said 'Shots fired, shots fired'. He was on the radio.

"The policemen hastily ducked around the corner. I saw them leap sideways and around the side of a wall.

"It didn't feel scary exactly, just more surreal," he said.

Blackfriars Road, which was shut between Southwark Street and Union Street, has since reopened.


Armed officers from a specialist unit were called to the busy shopping area

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