POLICE have shot dead a man they said was threatening a woman with a knife in a wealthy area of London.
It is the first fatal shooting by a Metropolitan Police marksman since the death of Mark Duggan in 2011.
Residents in the affluent street in north London said they were woken up at about 1am yesterday morning by a volley of gunshots “like fireworks” and saw the area swamped with police cars and armed officers.
Scotland Yard said the man, aged 40, died on his way to hospital around 20 minutes later.
Photos taken by neighbours show a middle-aged woman in a pink blanket being comforted by a female police officer as she was led away from the house in Islington. She was not harmed but was treated for shock.
Police had sent a negotiator to the scene just after 11pm on Thursday night following reports that the man had broken into a house. The man and woman involved are believed to have known each other.
Yesterday, investigators from the Independent Police Complaints Commission were at the scene of the shooting.
Lyssa Barber, a neighbour who works for a bank in the City, said: “I was woken up to shouts and immediately afterwards to what sounded like four or five bangs. They were gunshots.
“A gunshot in real life doesn’t sound like it does on TV. It sounded like loud bangs on a door. Bang, bang, bang. Then I realised, if it’s somebody banging on a door, why can I hear it?
“We saw the ambulance and police. There were eight police vehicles and I five armed officers.
“The ambulance arrived as I was looking out of my window. Police came out of the house. We could see someone being led away. They were wearing pink and had to be supported by officers.”
She added: “I think a middle-aged couple lived in the house.”
A 36-year-old man, who works in advertising but did not want to be named, said: “I arrived home and saw police, who escorted me to my house. Some other residents weren’t allowed back into their homes.
“Later when I was inside my house, I heard shots.”
Daniel Keane, 28, an office worker who lives in the street, said: “I thought I heard fireworks, that’s what it sounded like to me. I also heard some shouts, but they weren’t audible.”
The area was cordoned off and a nursery in the street is closed.
The Met said in a statement: “As in any shooting, this incident has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.”