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CCTV shows split-second decision by police to shoot Streatham terror attacker dead

Written by on 10/08/2021

An inquest has been shown CCTV footage of the Streatham terrorist armed with a knife moments before he was shot dead by police.

The jury were told that officers had around half a second to react as Sudesh Amman ran at them with the kitchen knife.

In the 62 seconds before the shooting, Amman stabbed two passers-by after grabbing a blade from the display of the Low Cost hardware store in Streatham High Road, south London, on 2 February 2020.

Sudesh Amman ran down Streatham High Road. Credit: Gardham/Met Police
Image: CCTV captures Amman running down Streatham High Road. Pic: Met Police

Amman, 20, from Queensbury, north London, had been released from HMP Belmarsh 10 days earlier having served half of a 40-month sentence for obtaining and distributing material for terrorist purposes.

He had boasted in prison that he had a “strong desire to go to the afterlife” and had openly shared a desire to kill the Queen, become a suicide bomber and join ISIS.

Jonathan Hough QC, for the coroner, took the jury through CCTV that showed Amman leaving his probation hostel at 1.22pm on 2 February, smiling and talking to a member of staff before walking across the back yard.

Wearing a camouflage jacket with a red hood, a beanie hat, and a black tunic over grey jogging bottoms, he arrived in Streatham High Road at 1.47pm, followed by a nine-member surveillance team.

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Footage from inside a Holland and Barrett store at 1.58pm showed two undercover officers with their arms up, holding Glock handguns in the firing position as they pursued Amman.

Worried pedestrians ran into a Boots store and seconds later Amman was seen running at full speed towards two officers – referred to as BX87 and BX75 – before falling to the ground.

Amman was wearing a fake suicide vest make of Iron Bru bottles, foil and packing tape. Pic: Gardham/Met Police
Image: Amman was wearing a fake suicide vest made of plastic bottles, foil and packing tape. Pic: Met Police

“Sudesh Aman moved towards them with the knife held out in his right hand, closing an already short distance between them,” Mr Hough said.

The senior officer in the team, referred to as BX113, pulled out of a side street in a grey Audi SUV with his lights flashing and siren on as BX87 moved forward to kick the knife out of the way, the hearing was told.

“He falls to the ground when he is struck by bullets,” Mr Hough said.

“As he lies on the floor, he is initially waving his arms and his legs, apparently wildly, and then in smaller movements, before he lies motionless.”

CCTV from a nearby Boots captured the incident. Pic: Met Police
Image: CCTV from a nearby Boots captured the incident. Pic: Met Police

A passenger on the nearby 201 bus filmed as Amman’s male victim was treated, lying on the ground outside Cash Converters.

Another officer then arrived in a black BMW and grabbed a medical bag from the boot to treat the victim shortly before a marked armed response vehicle attended with unformed firearms officers.

The three response officers, armed with Heckler and Koch carbines, approached with BX75 to check Amman and one of them said “He’s got a vest” and then “Everyone move”.

A CCTV camera near Boots then showed officers BX86 and BX89 warning members of the public to stay away.

At 2.46pm an explosives officer arrived, put on rubber gloves, but no helmet, and checked Amman, before cutting empty bottles covered in foil from a belt where he had attached them with brown packing tape.

Pic: Met Police
Image: A white van with police inside pulls up in the High Road. Pic: Met Police

The officer disappeared, then moved back in and patted down Amman’s clothing before walking away at 3.15pm, leaving the body in a pool of blood on the pavement.

Four minutes later, two armed officers with helmets and a shield approached with two paramedics who turned Amman over and pronounced life extinct at 3.24pm.

Neil Sheldon QC, for the Metropolitan Police, said that when Amman turned on the officers he was around 8ft to 10ft away – then within half a second he was just 3ft from them.

“Does it follow that if the officer had hesitated for even a fraction of a second, Amman would have been on to him?” Mr Sheldon asked.

“Correct,” DC Lorraine Simpson, who compiled the CCTV, replied.

The inquest at the Royal Courts of Justice continues.

 Sky News

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