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Metropolitan Police armed response vehicle
Metropolitan Police armed response vehicle

Mark Saunders was a British barrister who struggled with depression and alcoholism. On 6 May 2008 he repeatedly fired a shotgun from a window of his home in Markham Square, London. When armed police arrived, Saunders fired at their vehicle (example pictured) and a siege began. Saunders fired twice more and police returned fire, slightly wounding him. Saunders then waved the shotgun out of a window in the direction of a group of police officers; seven officers fired eleven shots, of which at least five struck him. Saunders was pronounced dead at a waiting ambulance. An inquest was held where the jury returned a verdict of lawful killing, but found several flaws in the police handling of the incident. They did not consider that any of these significantly contributed to the outcome. They could not decide whether Saunders had intentionally provoked a lethal response ("suicide by cop"). In 2010, the Metropolitan Police created a unit of senior officers to manage similar incidents. (Full article...)

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