Police officer shot dead in London was weeks away from retirement

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Police officer shot dead in London was weeks away from retirement

A police officer who was shot dead at a London police station has been named and pictured.

Matiu Ratana, known as Matt, was 54 years old and about to retire when he was killed.

The New Zealand sergeant was described by his colleagues as a “big, friendly bear” and a “courageous and committed” officer Mirror online.

Sgt Ratana was shot dead in Croydon Custody Center around 2:15 this morning and pronounced dead shortly afterwards.

It is believed that Sgt Ratana was shot dead while searching the suspect with a metal detector. That emerges from a statement by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) released tonight.

The alleged killer was arrested by two special police officers and taken to the detention center after the shooting.

A murder probe was launched and the IOPC is investigating how the weapon got into the detention suite.

Sgt Ratana was also the rugby coach at East Grinstead RFC and was called “inspiration” by a friend who knew him from rugby together.

Sgt Ratana’s friend said, “It is sad that our forces are in this position. They are just men and women doing a job.

“You’re on the front line and on the bad end, but nobody deserves that.”

Sgt Ratana joined the Metropolitan Police in 1991, just two years after moving to the UK from New Zealand two years earlier.

The sergeant had retired just weeks before his retirement.

He told a magazine in 1996: “I got this picture of myself as a kid wearing a police helmet. One of my uncles sent it over.

“I don’t remember growing up wanting to be a cop, but now that I am, I wouldn’t change it for anything.”

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