The Independent Police Complaints Commission has taken over the investigation into the shooting of a Seaford man in the early hours of this morning (Sunday September 16).
Matters of this nature are always referred to the IPCC and are not indicative of any wrongdoing on the part of Sussex Police, who have said they welcome the outside scrutiny and will work fully to support the investigation.
The 62-year-old man from Seaford is in hospital in Brighton following the firearms incident that began in the town last (Saturday) night.
Armed police officers were called to North Way, Seaford, at 7.10pm following a report of a domestic incident involving firearms.
A woman left the house safely a short time later.
Police negotiators engaged with the man for several hours, but shortly before 1am on Sunday morning, he left the house and shots were exchanged with armed officers from Surrey and Sussex Tactical Firearms Unit.
The man appeared to be wounded, but went back into the house. A police press statement says officers then reacted as swiftly and as safely as possible to enter the house and adminster first aid.
He was taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton with what are described as life-threatening injuries.
This morning he was said to be stable, but critical.
Two police officers were also slightly injured during the incident, but these were not gunshot wounds.
A shotgun has been recovered from the scene.
Ch Insp Jayne Dando said: “We did advise local residents to remain indoors while the incident was under way, but I would like to stress that there was little danger to the neighbouring community and this was kept to the absolute minium. To contain the situation effectively it was necessary to deploy a police helicopter for some considerable time and I should like to apologise to Seaford residents who may have been disturbed by what was an essential need.
“I should also like to thank the head teacher of a local school who opened up the building to act as a rendezvous point for emergency services and also to provide shelter to a few local residents who were returning home, but unable to gain access to their houses for a little while.”
The matter has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission and at the moment this remains a local investigation. Officers from the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team are investigating what is being treated as a case of attempted murder of police officers.