Page last updated at 20:41 GMT, Friday, 8 May 2009 21:41 UK

Man shot in retirement flat siege


Man shot dead by armed officers

A man in his 60s has been shot dead by armed police at a small block of retirement homes in West Sussex.

The man, believed to be Mervyn Tussler, was shot by marksman at a property in Fernhurst at about 1420 BST, following reports of a man waving a gun.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said it was investigating the case.

The incident happened following a siege in a block of retirement flats in Ash Grove, just off The Leys, on Friday.

The IPCC said armed officers were first deployed at about 1135 BST and at about 1420 BST Mr Tussler was fatally shot by police.

Sussex Police said it referred the incident to the IPCC at about 1500 BST on Friday.

One resident, who did not want to be named, said a police woman ran across the car park saying: "We have stunned him. Get an ambulance."

She said a neighbour told her: "It was a chap sitting in his flat with a gun to his wife".

Loudspeakers used

Another resident said a man in his 60s had been seen waving a gun in front of other pensioners and police used loudspeakers to try to negotiate with him.

A female pensioner, who did not want to give her name, said they were told by police to stay in their homes.

She added: "The police are still here. They have been here since midday. They won't let us out.

"I haven't heard any shooting. There was a dog handler earlier and there are at least eight policemen out here, in the courtyard outside."

She thought the incident had taken place on the other side of the block of eight flats.

Resident John Fawkes, 64, a retired banker, described the area as "a very quiet country village with a lot of retired people".

He added: "It's a very wealthy area and Lord Cowdray owns land in the surrounding areas.

"The first I knew about this was when I saw a helicopter overhead as I came out and emptied my wine bottles. The police weren't willing to give any information."

IPCC Commissioner Mike Franklin said: "IPCC investigators are currently at the scene, carrying out enquiries to establish exactly what happened in this case.

"We will be looking at the actions and decision-making of the firearms officers involved and the command and control of the whole incident."

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