Man shot dead in Kensington 'was in back of black taxi'

Man shot dead near Kensington Palace ‘was in the back of black taxi as he was blasted three times by armed police’ after he ‘raided bank and bookmakers’ nearby

  • Gunman was stopped by police following dalylight raid of bank and bookmakers 
  • Armed officers surrounded taxi and shouted at man ‘for 10 seconds to get out’
  • Suspect was then ‘shot in the car’ before being dragged out and handcuffed’
  • The man was pronounced dead just after 4pm near Palace Gate in Kensington

A gunman shot dead near Kensington Palace ‘was in the back of a black taxi as he was blasted three times by armed police’ shortly after he ‘raided a bank and bookmakers’ in broad daylight, a witness has said. 

The man, who is yet to be identified, was stopped by armed officers near Kensington Gardens just after 3pm on Saturday following reports he was carrying a firearm.

Shots were then fired, with witnesses recalling ‘three loud bangs’ before the man was pronounced dead at the scene at around 4pm.

A witness, who did not want to be named, said police stopped the taxi near Kensington Palace and shouted at the man ‘for about 10 seconds to get out’ the vehicle before they shot him three times.    

He told The Sun: ‘He was shot in the car, then police handcuffed him and searched him at the same time.

Footage taken at the scene appeared to show a man lying on the floor at the corner of Kensington Road and Palace Gate, while armed police officers stood around him

The public have been urged to avoid the area as road closures remain in place. Pictured: Police at the scene in Kensington 

Police at the scene near Kensington High Street in London on Saturday evening, following an incident involving armed police 

A police helicopter was reportedly seen circling the area. Pictured: Police at the scene near Kensington High Street in London, where a man died after sustaining gunshot wounds

‘He was bleeding from his mouth and it looked like he was struggling to breathe. 

‘He was in the back of the cab, as a passenger.’

A second witness, who also did not want to give his identity, said he was standing 20 metres away when he saw police ‘drag’ the gunman out the taxi.

He added: ‘I was driving past when I saw the police cut up a black cab, so I did a U-turn and as I got out of the car I saw the police fire two shots and another shot after three or four seconds.

‘I was standing around 20 metres away. I saw them drag him out of the black cab. They handcuffed him while he was on the floor. 

‘He was struggling at the start, but they had him under control.

‘By then they realised he couldn’t breathe or was struggling for his breath, so they quickly started first aid and CPR.’

Another man recalled hearing police shouting at the man inside the Mercedes taxi before opening fire.

Alexis, who did not give his surname, said he ran from the scene after becoming worried the van ‘might explode’ – hearing a gunshot as he fled.

He said: ‘They shouted “police” and then they shot twice at the [Mercedes]. There were two quick shots in succession.’

A large cordon was erected along Kensington Road as forensics officers meticulously combed the scene on Saturday night.

At least five police cars and one unmarked vehicle were seen at the scene (pictured) in the upmarket London borough 

The man drove away before being stopped by armed officers Palace Gate at 3.19pm, according to the Metropolitan Police

Eyewitnesses reported hearing ‘three loud bangs’. Pictured: Police officers are seen at scene after a man was shot dead in Kensington

The incident has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct. Pictured: Police officers are seen at scene after a man was shot dead in Kensington

Police officers rushed to the scene near Kensington Gardens just after 3pm on Saturday afternoon after reports of a man with a firearm entering a bank and bookmakers

It is believed the man who sustain gunshot wounds was the gunman, and that he was shot dead by armed police officers. Pictured: Police at the scene near Kensington High Street

 The Metropolitan Police said the incident was not being treated as terrorism and urged the public to avoid the area as road closures (pictured: police at the scene) remain in place

A taxi and a police tent erected in the middle of a cordon in Kensington High Street, London, where a man died after sustaining gunshot wounds

A tent was also placed within the cordon and surrounded by marked and unmarked police vehicles. 

Metropolitan Police said officers were responding to reports of ‘a man with a firearm seen to enter a bank and bookmakers in the vicinity of Marloes Road’ – a short distance from where he was stopped in the taxi.

The man then got inside a vehicle and ‘left the area’, according to a spokesperson, before being stopped at the junction of Kensington Road and Palace Gate.

Shots were then fired and the man suffered fatal gunshot wounds.

The Met said the incident is not being treated as terror-related and efforts to identify the individual are ongoing.  

An investigation has also been launched by the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

A spokesman for the watchdog said: ‘After being notified of the incident by the MPS (Metropolitan Police Service,) we sent investigators to the scene and the post-incident procedure to start gathering evidence.’

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