Brit firearms officer facing homicide investigation after fatally shooting unarmed man

File photo dated 19/11/21 of police tape near a scene of a suspected crime, as rape victims are being "continually and systematically failed" by the criminal justice system, a scathing root-and-branch watchdog examination has found.
File photo dated 19/11/21 of police tape near a scene of a suspected crime, as rape victims are being "continually and systematically failed" by the criminal justice system, a scathing root-and-branch watchdog examination has found.

Sean Fitzgerald was unarmed when he was fatally shot as police carried out a pre-planned operation in Coventry

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A West Midlands Police firearms officer has been advised that he is being investigated for potential “homicide offences” relating to the fatal shooting of an unarmed man three years ago.

Sean Fitzgerald, 31, was fatally shot as police carried out a pre-planned operation in Coventry in January 2019.

The decision to conduct a criminal investigation comes as part of an Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation into the death of Mr Fitzgerald.

He died after receiving a single gunshot wound to the chest as he emerged from a property in Burnaby Road in Coventry on the evening of 4 January 2019.

He was unarmed at the time he was shot.The IOPC commenced an independent investigation following a mandatory referral from the West Midlands force.IOPC Regional Director, Derrick Campbell said: “This complex investigation is nearing conclusion. Following a review of all of the evidence obtained and the receipt of legal advice, we have revisited our position on potential criminal conduct.

'This does not mean that criminal charges will necessarily follow. At the conclusion of our investigation, we will decide whether to refer the matter to the Crown Prosecution Service to consider whether any charge(s) should be brought.”

In January this year, more than 50 people staged a rally outside a police station in Coventry to demand action.

Mr Fitzgerald's partner Sharlene Mitchell said she wanted no more delays in finding out what happened.

She told the rally she vividly remembers being told of the shooting at the hands of those whose duty it was to “serve and protect.. instead, they tell you that they have killed your partner, and even three years on, no answer why, no reason, nothing".

Mr Fitzgerald’s partner, family and the firearms officer have all been notified of the commencement of a criminal investigation.

Derrick Campbell said: “This was a tragic incident that led to a man losing his life and our thoughts remain with all of those affected by Mr Fitzgerald’s death.”