On Tuesday, 8 June, a jury reached a finding of ‘lawful killing’ in relation to the death of Richard Cottier.
In response to this finding, Commander Kyle Gordon of the Met's Specialist Firearms Command, said:
“My deepest condolences are today with the family of Richard Cottier. Mr Cottier died suddenly in difficult circumstances and I know they will continue to deeply grieve his loss.
“My thoughts are also with the officers involved and their families, they too will have been deeply impacted by these tragic events.
“Throughout this inquest, we have heard of the challenging circumstances firearms officers faced during the early hours of 9 April 2018.
“My firearms colleagues are highly trained professionals, asked on behalf of us all to manage the most high-risk and complex policing situations and, in the overwhelming majority of cases they are able to do this without the need to use force of any kind.
“Unfortunately on some occasions such as this, officers find themselves faced with a situation where they have no choice other than to use force.
“Based on the information available to them on 9 April 2018, my colleagues deployed with an honestly held belief that Mr Cottier had a working firearm in his possession. As the public rightly expect, they attended the scene and put themselves in harm’s way to ensure the public’s safety.
“My colleagues that met Mr Cottier that morning acted in accordance with both their training and my expectations. When Mr Cottier lifted the weapon he was holding towards the officers, they were forced to act.
“Unfortunately this resulted in Mr Cottier being fatally injured.
“As is routine, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) undertook a meticulous investigation, scrutinising the decisions made by my colleagues and the Met’s overall response to the incident. In addition to reviewing all available CCTV, Body Worn Video and interviewing all officers involved, they also instructed experts to examine the evidence of officers on the forecourt.
“During the inquest, we’ve heard evidence from those expert witnesses, which provide an insight into the difficult and dynamic decisions my colleagues had to make.
“I do not underestimate the responsibility these officers carry every day, putting their lives in harm’s way to keep Londoners and our communities safe.”