A 31-year-old man who was shot by police after wielding a ‘double-ended axe’ in a city centre has died of his injuries. Armed officers were sent to the scene near a Post Office in Hull, East Yorkshire, shortly after 9.20am following ‘concerns for the safety of the public’.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said tonight the man had now died.
IPCC Associate Commissioner Tom Milsom said: ‘Our thoughts are with the man’s friends and family, and all those affected at this very difficult time.’
He said: ‘We have an independent investigation under way into this serious incident and will be examining the full circumstances. We would be grateful if anyone who witnessed the events in Hull city centre would contact us.’
Witnesses told of a huge police presence in the Charles Street area of the city this morning, with several roads cordoned off and firefighters also at the scene.
Initial reports suggested the man had died following the shots fired by officers at 9.37am, but police later said he received medical attention.
A man near the scene, who did not want to be named, said he believed the injured man was his cousin, who suffers from mental health issues and has drug problems.
He said: ‘All I’ve heard is one of my friends rang me and said “Your cousin’s been running around with an axe and he’s been Tasered and they’ve shot him”.
‘That’s all I know. I’m going to go and find out how he is now.’
Andre Foster said he was in a nearby building and saw the man after he had been shot by police.
He said: ‘We heard two big, loud bangs, gun sounds, we looked out the window, we saw this fella on the floor, blood was gushing out of him.
‘There were around six police around him, trying to stop him bleeding. I never saw an axe or anything, never saw a weapon.’
Mr Foster added: ‘It looked like he’d been Tasered. He had a big cut at the bottom, near his liver, and one at the top I think, and blood was just gushing out of him.’
He continued: ‘He was moving around, wriggling his body around like he was in agony.’
Another witness, who only gave her name as Rachel, said: ‘We heard two loud bangs and a man screaming, which made us all get up and see what was going on.
‘And there was a man laid on the floor with quite a lot of blood loss and obviously it was all running down the path.”
She added that the man had what she believed to be four Taser marks – or ‘prongs’ – in his back. Another woman described the incident as ‘traumatic’.
‘I just came back from work and they said “You can’t go down, stop there.” I’m going back to the warehouse, it’s cold.’
And a 19-year-old witness, Shan, tweeted: ‘Seeing a man running with a double-ended axe being Tasered by police was not what I was expecting to happen today.’
A Humberside Police spokesman said: ‘We can confirm that a 31-year-old man was injured at 9.37am today after shots were fired by officers.
‘We deployed armed officers to the Holderness Road area shortly after 9.20am, following reports of concerns for the safety of the public in relation to a man seen near the Post Office in Holderness Road, Hull.’