Page last updated at 12:30 GMT, Thursday, 8 May 2008 13:30 UK

Inquest date for siege barrister

The inquest of a high-flying barrister who died in a five-hour armed stand-off is due to take place.

Mark Saunders, 32, died after exchanging shots with police in Chelsea in south-west London on Tuesday.

An inquest on Mr Saunders, from Alderley Edge, Cheshire, will open at Westminster Coroner's Court on Friday.

It is not known if he died as a result of a police bullet. Results of post mortem tests are expected to be announced on Friday.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is investigating. Mr Saunders worked at QEB chambers in London and specialised in family law.

A spokeswoman said: "He was a very valued member of the chambers and obviously we are shocked and horrified by what has happened.

"We have no knowledge of the circumstances leading up to it and our thoughts are with his family."

Armed police found Mr Saunders' body after the stand-off.

The deputy chairman of the IPCC, Ian Bynoe, said a legally registered firearm was recovered from the address.

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

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.

The siege ended at after four stun grenades were let off.

Neighbour Jane Winkworth said Mr Saunders threw a white cardboard box out of a window while he was holed up.

She said the words, 'I love my wife dearly xxx', were written on the box.

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

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