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Last Updated: Monday, 11 June 2007, 16:32 GMT 17:32 UK
Woman shot dead by police officer
Sevenoaks, Kent
A Kent Police officer fatally shot the woman in the early hours
A woman has been shot and killed by armed police in Kent, the Independent Police Complaints Commission has said.

Kent Police were called after a 37-year-old woman with a gun was seen in the centre of Sevenoaks at 0120 BST.

Armed officers shot the woman, who has not been identified but was from the Sevenoaks area. She was given first aid at the scene but pronounced dead.

Part of the centre of the town, including the bus station, was sealed off following the incident.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said an investigation would be carried out.

Whenever there is a fatal shooting by police our independent investigators go to the incident immediately
Nicola Williams, IPCC commissioner

The victim is believed to be the first woman to have been shot dead by police for at least 27 years.

Two residents in Sevenoaks told BBC News 24 that they were woken up at about 0300 BST by barking dogs and a "commotion".

They then described hearing a loud bang.

Officers and forensic science experts have been searching the rear car park of a department store based in Sevenoaks High Street.

A firearm was recovered at the scene.

IPCC commissioner Nicola Williams said: "I send my sympathies to the woman's family and friends and also the police officers concerned.

"Whenever there is a fatal shooting by police our independent investigators go to the incident immediately."

Accidentally shot

She added that it was "unusual" for a woman to be the victim, and that the shooting had not been part of a wider police investigation.

Three other women have been shot by police in the last 27 years.

In 1980, Gail Kinchen was accidentally shot dead by a police marksman during a siege in Birmingham.

Two other women have been wounded in police shootings.

Cherry Groce was left paralysed after she was accidentally shot by police in 1985 during a raid on her home in Brixton, south London.

In 1997, Jane Lee was shot in Ilford, Essex, by police investigating a firearms incident. She was taken to hospital and recovered.

The scene of the shooting

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