Page last updated at 14:24 GMT, Wednesday, 7 May 2008 15:24 UK

Probe held into armed siege death

An inquiry has begun after a gunman was killed following a five-hour armed stand-off in south-west London.

The 32-year-old, believed to be Mark Saunders, a barrister, died after earlier exchanging shots with police in Markham Square, Chelsea.

Officers were called to King's Road on Tuesday after reports a gun was fired from a house towards another home.

Armed police fired back when they came under attack and the area nearby was sealed off as the siege began.

However, the incident was brought to an end when police stormed the house after four explosions were heard.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is examining the incident.

The BBC has learned Mr Saunders worked at QEB chambers in London and specialised in family law.

The IPCC has not confirmed his identity, but he is expected to officially named after post-mortem examinations.

The deputy chairman of the IPCC, Ian Bynoe, said one firearm was recovered from the address and it was licensed.

He appealed for witnesses, saying their testimony "would be helpful".

"Our own team of investigators will shortly be starting house-to-house inquiries," he said.

"There also may be members of the public who can supply us with the images they captured on their cameras or mobile telephones.

"We've to keep an open mind on how this man came to suffer the wounds from which he died."

Officers will also study footage captured by CCTV cameras and police helicopters.

The area remains cordoned-off and surrounding homes and businesses were evacuated.

Residents said they were shocked at the shoot-out.

Novelist Jenny Haddon, who lives in Bywater Street behind Markham Square, said officers broke through her front door while she was out.

"I've got a terraced [house] and I suspect what they (police) did was use the terrace to shoot from," she said.

"It would have given them a good vantage point."

During the stand-off, the gunman fired three times - first at about 1700 BST, then again at 2100 BST and then at about 2130 BST. Officers returned fire on each occasion.

At about 2145 BST, eyewitnesses reported seeing the sky light up with green flashes at the same time as the four explosions, which were thought to be stun grenades.




SEE ALSO
Timeline: Chelsea shooting
08 May 08 |  London
Gunman shot dead in armed siege
06 May 08 |  London

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