On Air Now
Early Breakfast with James Stewart 4am - 6:30am
12 February 2011, 08:29 | Updated: 21 February 2011, 16:14
A wanted man shot dead by police investigating a series of armed robberies has been named by sources.
Officers opened fire on Michael Fitzpatrick, believed to be in his 40s, in Brighton, just after 1pm on Thursday. A post mortem examination has confirmed he died as a result of gunshot wounds to the abdomen
A firearm, believed to be a black handgun not used by police, was found by his body in Rock Place in the Kemptown area.
It is being examined to find out whether it is real or imitation and whether it had been fired.
Investigators said armed officers were deployed as part of a pre-planned operation connected to a series of armed robberies in Brighton and Hove and Mid Sussex over the past couple of months. They include raids on the Melville Road post Office in Hove and Santander in Burgess Hill
One witness reported hearing two gunshots ring out before police tried to revive the dying man. Fitzpatrick was pronounced dead a short time later at the Royal Sussex County Hospital.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) sent investigators to the scene to take initial accounts from officers involved.
Police also confirmed that the officers most directly involved in yesterday's incident have been taken off operational firearms duties for 28 days in line with force policy.