Investigation over teen shooting

The family of a teenager - who apparently shot himself dead while on the phone to Thames Valley Police - have paid tribute to him.

The police watchdog's been called in to find out if Alexander Codrington's death could have been prevented.

Armed officers discovered the 16 year old's body after being called out to woodland near Witney in Oxfordshire on Friday 30 July 2010.

A friend, who was concerned for his welfare, had called Thames Valley Police, believing he was armed with a gun.  Two hours later, Alexander's body was found with a gunshot wound.

An investigation has now been launched into the actions of the police officers involved.

Tribute

In a statement released through police, Alexander's family said: "He will be deeply missed by all who knew him. His humour, his loyalty, his love of the outdoors will long be remembered by the family and friends with whom he spent many happy days.

"We will all carry many happy memories of this wonderful, beautiful boy."

Response

Armed response officers and the force helicopter were sent to woodland near Leafield, while other officers went to the friend's house.

An officer rang Alexander on his friend's mobile phone at 4.20am on Friday, an hour after police were alerted.

An Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) spokesman said: "The officer stayed on the phone to him until approximately 5.20am when, while on the phone, the officer heard a shot.

"Alexander's body was discovered by officers a short time later. He was pronounced dead by paramedics at the scene.''

The IPCC is managing an investigation led by Thames Valley Police's Professional Standards Department.

Mike Franklin, the IPCC Commissioner for the South East, who will oversee the investigation, said: "This is a very sad case and this must be a difficult time for Alexander's family and friends.

"Police officers were in the area and in contact with him shortly before he died and we will therefore be examining the actions of the various officers involved to see whether anything at all could have been done differently and have prevented this tragic outcome."

Armed response officers and the force helicopter had been sent to woodland to search for him on Friday morning.

Alexander spoke to officers on a mobile phone after a friend concerned for his welfare called Thames Valley Police, believing he was armed with a gun.

Investigation

Giving details of the incident, an IPCC spokesman said: "The officer stayed on the phone to him until approximately 5.20am when, while on the phone, the officer heard a shot.

"Alexander's body was discovered by officers a short time later. He was pronounced dead by paramedics at the scene.''

An inquest into the student's death was opened and adjourned yesterday, the Oxfordshire Coroner's Office confirmed. A post-mortem examination confirmed he died of a single gunshot wound.

The IPCC is managing an investigation led by Thames Valley Police's professional standards department.

Mike Franklin, the IPCC commissioner for the South East, who is overseeing the investigation, said: "This is a very sad case and this must be a difficult time for Alexander's family and friends.

"Police officers were in the area and in contact with him shortly before he died and we will therefore be examining the actions of the various officers involved to see whether anything at all could have been done differently and have prevented this tragic outcome."

Police

A Thames Valley Police spokeswoman said in a statement: "The circumstances leading up to the teenager's death are currently being investigated by Thames Valley Police.

"At no time did Thames Valley Police discharge any firearms.

"As this was a fear for welfare inquiry, where Thames Valley Police were actively searching for the boy and were in the vicinity of where the body was later found, the matter has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission who are managing the investigation."

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