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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 June 2007, 13:09 GMT 14:09 UK
Man shot by police critically ill
Bryn Watkins
The injured man has been named locally as Bryn Watkins
A man is in a critical condition in hospital after being shot in the stomach by a police officer at Ebbw Vale, south Wales.

Firearms officers and negotiators went to a semi-detached home at Moor View, Rassau, on Tuesday night after claims a man with a gun was inside.

At 2310 BST an officer fired a shot, wounding the 56-year-old man, who was named locally as Bryn Watkins.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is investigating.

Nobody else was injured in the incident, which began to unfold when firearms officers responded to reports of an armed man inside the semi-detached property at 2200 BST.

Gwent Police referred the shooting to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) in accordance with standard procedures.

Ebbw Vale house where man was shot by police
Police were called to the house after reports a man inside was armed

In a statement, the IPCC said the man, who had been armed, was shot after being challenged by police and following the incident had undergone surgery at Abergavenny's Nevill Hall Hospital where his condition was described as critical.

IPCC commissioner John Crawley said: "This is a serious incident and we will conduct a thorough and comprehensive independent investigation into the circumstances of this shooting."

Many neighbours in the cul-de-sac just below the main A465 road from Ebbw Vale to Merthyr Tydfil said they were unaware of any disturbance.

Mr Watkins's brother said their mother had died earlier this week and was widowed about a year ago.

His brother Howard Watkins said one of the man's sons had died in a car accident.

Howard Watkins
Howard Watkins said his brother had been suffering with depression

"He did go out with a few friends to have a few beers yesterday, but I understand he was on his own in the house when it happened," he said.

"That's what I understand, but he has been suffering with depression, you know, obviously the three deaths.

"Then, of course, when my mother died suddenly the day before yesterday that brought bad memories back to him," said Mr Watkins.

He is understood to have lived in the house with his son in his twenties, while his daughter, a mother-of-three, lived nearby in Ebbw Vale.

People in the area described him as very pleasant.

An area of the cul-de-sac has been cordoned off and scenes of crime and forensic officers remain at the scene on Wednesday morning.

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