Locals of the Forest Hill area have raised concerns over the near-fatal police shooting in the area on 21 February. Police held a meeting on Sunday to allow members of the community to voice their concerns over the legitimacy of such a high level of force.
The man shot remains in hospital suffering from three gunshot wounds in the stomach, hand and leg. Initial 999 calls were placed after locals spotted someone attempting to break into a parked vehicle. Subsequent calls revealed that the man was armed with a knife-like object. No official report has been released and the case is currently with the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). It is yet unclear why the police on the scene deemed it necessary to use their firearms following the use of tasers to subdue the immediate threat. The ballistics report will shed some light onto the chain of events, during which five shots were fired.
At the meeting on Sunday many residents were frustrated by the dearth of information or justification for the use of firearms. One resident who witnessed the shooting was astounded by the lack of ambulances present at the scene. Questioning why, when an armed response unit is called with the obvious potential to cause bodily harm, ambulances are not deployed with them. The IPCC report will aim to answer many of the questions raised but this is starting to look like another breakdown in communication between the Met and a local community.