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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 July, 2005, 12:45 GMT 13:45 UK
Suspect found dead at siege house
Pc David Lomas
Pc Lomas, a local community beat manager, joined the force in 2001
A man thought to have shot a police officer in the chest has been found dead at the end of an 18-hour siege at his Lancashire home.

Officers were called to a house in Hardman Avenue, Rawtenstall, on Monday afternoon where Pc David Lomas, 34, was shot in the chest.

His was airlifted to hospital suffering a non life-threatening shoulder injury.

The suspect, who was in his 50s, was found dead in an upstairs bedroom when police stormed the house on Tuesday.

'Difficult operation'

Police said no-one else was in the house at the time, but a dead Rottweiler dog was found in the upstairs room.

Ch Supt Jerry Graham, of Lancashire Police, said: "This was a difficult operation where the safety of the public and police officers was paramount.

"A police investigation has now been launched."

He said police were responding to reports of anti-social behaviour and "could not have predicted the level of violence" they were met with.

"This has shaken Pc Lomas' colleagues up, not only because he is a very effective officer but also because he is a very popular officer with his colleagues," he said.

Armed officers were called to the house and a cordon was set up to stop people entering or leaving the area.

Negotiators tried to contact the man inside the house and an 18-hour stand-off ensued.

A petrol bomb thrown from an upstairs window and when other police officers tried to make contact they heard gunfire and backed away.

When armed officers finally raided the building at 0630 BST on Tuesday they found the man was dead.

Cordon lifted

Nearby homes were evacuated after the siege began and a shelter was set up for residents at nearby Balladen School.

Forty-one people were rehoused for the night, 22 of them children.

The cordon was lifted just after 0800 BST but Hardman Avenue was still blocked off outside the house.

Pc Lomas, who is single, is a local community beat manager from Bury, Greater Manchester. He joined the force in August 2001.

He was airlifted to the Royal Preston Hospital where he was said to be in a comfortable condition on Monday night.

Pc Lomas was wearing a stab vest when he was shot, which a police spokesman said was standard uniform for the job he was expected to undertake.

Forensic teams were examining the house on Tuesday, along with a blue car outside which had had its windows shot in the attack on the police.

The case has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).


SEE ALSO:
Siege after police officer shot
04 Jul 05 |  Lancashire


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