Police have named the Met sergeant who was shot and killed at the Croydon Custody Centre earlier today (Friday, September 25).
Matiu Ratana, known as Matt, was 54-years-old and a long-serving sergeant in the Metropolitan Police.
He was originally from New Zealand.
Matt joined the force in 1991 and was close to retirement when he was killed.
He was fatally shot by a detainee during a search at Croydon Custody Centre around 2.15am on Friday morning.
The 23-year-old suspect is believed to have shot himself after shooting Matiu, and is currently in hospital in a critical condition.
Police have launched a murder investigation into the fatal shooting, while the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is also investigating the circumstances surrounding the killing.
Paying tribute to Matiu later on Friday, Commissioner Cressida Dick said he was a “big guy” with a “big heart”:
“He was a talented police officer.
“His colleagues knew him as a big guy. Big in stature, big in heart,” Dick said.
“Friendly, capable, a lovely man. Highly respected by his colleagues, officers staff and of course by members of the public, including, I may say, suspects he arrested or dealt with in custody.
“He was very well known locally and he will be remembered so fondly in Croydon as well as in the Met and the rugby world.
“He leaves a partner and he leaves an adult son from a previous relationship. Our thoughts are with them,” she added.
The suspect in Matt’s killing was arrested by regular officers following a stop and search at Pollards Hill prior to the shooting.
He was then handcuffed behind his back before being taken to the station in a police vehicle.
The IOPC said he was taken into the building and sat in a holding area in the custody suite, then opened fire while still in handcuffs as officers prepared to search him with a metal detector.
IOPC regional director Sal Naseem said: “It is at that point that shots were fired resulting in the fatal injuries to the officer and critical injuries to the man.
“A non-police issue firearm, which appears to be a revolver, has been recovered from the scene. Further ballistic work will be required.”