Buckingham Palace suspect, 59, detained under Mental Health Act after 'throwing shotgun cartridges into grounds'

4 May 2023, 17:13 | Updated: 4 May 2023, 17:51

David Huber has been identified as the man arrested at Buckingham Palace
David Huber has been identified as the man arrested at Buckingham Palace. Picture: Social Media/Alamy

By Kit Heren

A man who sparked a security scare at Buckingham Palace has been detained under the Mental Health Act.

David Huber, 59 a dog breeder who posted tributes to the Queen after she died, was arrested after he allegedly threw suspected shotgun shells into palace grounds on Tuesday night.

On the day Queen Elizabeth II died he wrote on Facebook: “It's a massive loss to all.”

Police revealed earlier this week that the suspect approached the palace gates and asked to "speak to a soldier".

Home Office minister says police in Buckingham Palace arrest did 'great thing' for the UK

After his request was refused, he threw shotgun cartridges over fence, it is alleged.

Police said they searched the man's belongings and found a lock knife. The suspect also told police the bag he was carrying "had to be handled carefully" - causing further suspicion and prompting them to carry out a controlled explosion.

Chief Superintendent Joseph McDonald, said: “Officers worked immediately to detain the man and he has been taken into police custody.

“There were no reports of any shots fired, or any injuries to officers or members of the public. Enquiries are ongoing.”

Police say they are still very, very confident in the security arrangements ahead of the Coronation this weekend.

He was arrested at about 7pm on Tuesday after he approached the gates of the royal palace.

The suspected shotgun cartridges have been taken for analysis. Officers said they are not treating the incident as terror-related.

Neither King Charles or Queen Camilla were in the palace at the time of the incident.

A witness told the Sun that the suspect had been standing near the palace for the "last few nights" and had been heard shouting: "I'm going to kill the King."

Buckingham Palace on Tuesday night
Buckingham Palace on Tuesday night. Picture: Getty

It comes ahead of the King's coronation on Saturday. Royal fans have been camped out along the Mall close to the palace ahead of the ceremony.

Read more: Central London road closures commence for coronation prep – and full list of tube stations that could be closed

Read more: Rain and thunderstorms predicted in disappointing forecast for King’s Coronation weekend

Police have put heightened security operations in place ahead of the Coronation, with heads of state from around the world expected to attend.

Police at the scene outside Buckingham Palace
Police at the scene outside Buckingham Palace. Picture: Getty

Chief Superintendent Joseph McDonald of the Met Police said: "Officers worked immediately to detain the man and he has been taken into police custody.

"There have been no reports of any shots fired, or any injuries to officers or members of the public.“Officers remain at the scene and further enquiries are ongoing.”

Officers outside Buckingham Palace
Officers outside Buckingham Palace. Picture: Getty

Cordons were put in place after the man was also found to be in possession of a suspicious bag, and have since been removed.

Specialists attended and following an assessment a controlled explosion was conducted as a precaution.

The royal family have faced several security threats in recent times.

A man who scaled a Buckingham Palace fence carrying a knife and cocaine during an "episode of psychosis" was spared jail in February 2022.

A man who scaled a Buckingham Palace fence carrying a knife and cocaine during an "episode of psychosis" wspared jail in February 2022. hours of May 10, 2021.

The 44-year-old was caught with a 20cm kitchen knife and cocaine in his bag when he was arrested after climbing back into Buckingham Palace Road.

Buckingham Palace on Tuesday night
Buckingham Palace on Tuesday night. Picture: Getty

Kalani was handed a 24-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, at Westminster Magistrates' Court. He previously pleaded guilty to trespassing on a protected site, possession of a bladed article and possession of a wrap of cocaine.

Meanwhile a man entered Windsor Castle with a crossbow in Christmas 2021 and said he was there "to kill the Queen".

Jaswant Singh Chail, 20 was seen by a protection officer, who was guarding a gate inside the grounds of Windsor Castle - in an area not usually open to the public approaching him.

He to have pulled out his taser when he realised Mr Chail had a loaded crossbow with him and told him to drop to his knees, the court heard. Mr Chail is alleged to have said to him "I'm here to kill the Queen."

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