Sgt Matt Ratana died from gunshot wound to chest, inquest hears

1 October 2020, 16:19

Sgt Matiu Ratana, known as Matt, died after being shot at a police station in Croydon
Sgt Matiu Ratana, known as Matt, died after being shot at a police station in Croydon. Picture: PA

A police officer killed in the line of duty at a custody centre died from a gunshot wound to the chest, an inquest has heard.

Metropolitan Police Sergeant Matt Ratana was shot in the early hours of Friday September 25 as he prepared to search a suspect who was handcuffed.

The 23-year-old suspect, who was not named during the 10-minute inquest opening at Croydon Coroner's Court, was also injured and remains critically ill in hospital.

Read more: Partner of Sergeant Matt Ratana pays tribute to 'gentle giant'

Read more: New Zealand police officers perform haka to honour Sergeant Matt Ratana

Detective Superintendent Nick Blackburn said the weapon was discharged "several times".

A revolver was later recovered from the scene.

He told the inquest the suspect was first detained by police in Pollards Hill in south London at 1.30am.

The suspect was handcuffed and taken into custody on suspicion of the possession of ammunition and a class B drug.

He said: "Upon arrival (at Croydon custody centre), he (the suspect) was taken to a holding room where he remained in handcuffs.

"The custody sergeant, Matt Ratana, entered the holding room.

"The suspect discharged the weapon several times, during which the sergeant and the suspect were injured."

The inquest heard Mr Ratana was taken to St George's Hospital in Tooting but he was pronounced dead at 4.20am.

Mr Blackman said the preliminary cause of death given following the post-mortem examination was a gunshot wound to the chest.

No members of Mr Ratana's family, including his partner Su Bushby, were present for the hearing, although Mr Ratana's son in Australia was among those listening in remotely.

Sarah Ormond-Walshe, senior coroner for south London, adjourned the hearing until a further date.