Father-of-two ‘brandished air rifle and hammer at party organiser’ 

A man invited to an illegal Covid-19 drinks party in a garden brandished the gun seen in this picture moments before he was shot dead by armed police in a residential street today.

Shocked residents told how a couple had been having late night drinks with neighbours in their garden, in breach of the nationwide lockdown over coronavirus.

A stranger, who apparently seemed lonely and was named Tommy, was invited to join the group but after a few drinks, he produced a rifle and threatened the party organiser, sparking a 999 call to the police.

The high drama happened in a street of terraced house in Swindon, Wiltshire, and teams of police, some of them firearms experts rushed to the scene.

A man invited to an illegal Covid-19 drinks party in a garden brandished the gun seen in this picture moments before he was shot dead by armed police

A man invited to an illegal Covid-19 drinks party in a garden brandished the gun seen in this picture moments before he was shot dead by armed police

A man invited to an illegal Covid-19 drinks party in a garden brandished the gun seen in this picture moments before he was shot dead by armed police

Zoe Mosteller and her partner Martin, pictured above, were having an evening socialising with their neighbours when they extended the invite to a lonely stranger

Zoe Mosteller and her partner Martin, pictured above, were having an evening socialising with their neighbours when they extended the invite to a lonely stranger

Zoe Mosteller and her partner Martin, pictured above, were having an evening socialising with their neighbours when they extended the invite to a lonely stranger

Neighbours, one of whom took a photo of the abandoned rifle lying on the road, said that at 2am today a shot rang out an the ‘gunman’ was shot and killed by a police marksman.

The incident has been reported to the police watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct, for a full investigation into the fatal shooting o the man in Swindon’s Summers Street.

Paramedics arrived swiftly at the scene and neighbours told how the critically injured man was put on a stretcher in the ambulance where the medics tried frantically to revive him, without success.

Zoe Mosteller and her partner Martin, were socialising with their neighbours when they invited the passing stranger to join them as he was on his own, it was claimed.

Following a drinking binge, Martin and the man – whose identity was not yet known – became embattled in a neighbourhood dispute with emotions said to be running high before the man pulled out a hidden rifle.

Police remain at Summers Street in Swindon, Wiltshire, where a 57-year-old man was shot after Wiltshire Police were called to an incident shortly after 2am on Sunday

Police remain at Summers Street in Swindon, Wiltshire, where a 57-year-old man was shot after Wiltshire Police were called to an incident shortly after 2am on Sunday

Police remain at Summers Street in Swindon, Wiltshire, where a 57-year-old man was shot after Wiltshire Police were called to an incident shortly after 2am on Sunday

Neighbours of the quiet residential street told how paramedics were frantically attempting to resuscitate the man in the back of an ambulance before he was tragically pronounced dead soon after 2am.

In an emotional message later in the day, Martin explained that he and his partner Zoe had been ‘victimised’ following the tragedy. He wrote on social media: ‘As you all already know, a guy died following an argument with me. I’ll be giving a proper statement to the police in due course.

‘If I’m completely honest, I have no recollection because I was very drunk – we were having a lovely time with our neighbours and invited that guy to join us as he was in his own.

‘Subsequently, weapons became involved and the guy was shot dead. Whatever I may or may not have said or done in my drunken state, it wasn’t me that pulled out a hammer or an air rifle.

‘It wasn’t me that shot him. Whilst I understand that emotions are running high given that someone died, I’m aware that certain people on our street have ‘unfriended Zoe’ and blamed her for this.

‘That is ridiculous. Zoe and I are well aware we can be a nuisance when we have had a few. But it wasn’t us that pulled out a hammer and a rifle. We didn’t want that guy to die either – he clearly needed help rather than a gunshot.

A investigation officer at Summers Street in Swindon, Wiltshire, where a 57-year-old man was shot

A investigation officer at Summers Street in Swindon, Wiltshire, where a 57-year-old man was shot

A investigation officer at Summers Street in Swindon, Wiltshire, where a 57-year-old man was shot

‘Zoe is in a state of post traumatic stress – the cause that certain people have given her is vile, unfair and adjust.

‘We did nothing wrong other than be drunk and be the victims of a guy who clearly had some issues and I will defend that position until the end because it’s true.

‘Victim shaming is horrendous and some of you need to to take a look at yourselves before attacking us.’

To the bewilderment of the neighbourhood, residents were complaining about the ‘fireworks and screaming’ in the early hours of this morning/yesterday (Sun) before realising a shot had been fired.

Sandy Dosanjh, a 33-year-old project manager for Network Rail said: ‘We heard there were loud bangs in the early hours of the morning. I have been living here for seven years and nothing like this has ever happened here, it definitely is not typical of the area.’

Retired nurse Teresa Compton added: ‘I was in bed at the time but I woke up to see all the police cars parked around the road and the police tape at the entrance to the road.

‘We heard the man had a rifle but there is still no excuse to shoot him dead.’

A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said: ‘We can confirm that following an incident in Summers Street, Swindon, shortly after 2am this morning/yesterday (Sun), a referral has been made to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

‘This is regarding the death of a member of the public. The IOPC is independently investigating this incident so it would be inappropriate for us to comment any further on it.

‘We would, however, like to reassure the public there is no risk to the wider community and that there is likely to be an increased police presence in the area for a considerable time.’

A notice on the red-bricked St Augustine’s Church located at the scene said: ‘Following the events in Rodbourne this morning, the church will be open from 4pm this afternoon for anyone who would like a quiet place to reflect, to pray or light a candle.

Forensic experts and police scour the scene after a man, 57, was fatally shot after an argument in Swindon on Sunday night. A rifle appeared to be on the ground behind the police cordon

Forensic experts and police scour the scene after a man, 57, was fatally shot after an argument in Swindon on Sunday night. A rifle appeared to be on the ground behind the police cordon

Forensic experts and police scour the scene after a man, 57, was fatally shot after an argument in Swindon on Sunday night. A rifle appeared to be on the ground behind the police cordon

Neighbours said they heard shouting and screaming before a loud bang at around 2am on Sunday morning

Neighbours said they heard shouting and screaming before a loud bang at around 2am on Sunday morning

Neighbours said they heard shouting and screaming before a loud bang at around 2am on Sunday morning 

‘Whether you have a faith or not, you are welcome here to reflect on what has happened in our community today.’

Summers Street was expected to be cordoned off as a crime scene for the next 24 hours while detectives investigate the incident alongside the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) – a watchdog that probes all police-involved shootings.

On social media, local resident Jim Robbins said: ‘Just had a call from the police. They wanted to reassure residents after last night’s shocking incident.

‘They said that the police will be at the scene for the rest of the day and there will be increased police patrols over the next few days. They asked if anyone had any information to pass on to please do so. People can do it via me if they prefer.

‘If anyone witnessed the shooting and needs to talk to someone, let me know and I’ll try to sort out counselling,’ he added.

Police have not yet named the man who was shot dead. A post mortem examination will be carried out on his body and an inquest opened and adjourned later. 

An investigation has been launched by the Independent Office for Police Conduct and forensic experts were scouring the area on Sunday morning.

A rifle appeared to be on the ground in the police cordon, along with an Armed Response Vehicle (ARV) – a navy blue BMW X5 which is believed to have been involved in the shooting.   

Shocked neighbours said the dead man was a father-of-two working as a mechanic who ‘would do anything for you’.

A 66-year-old man who did not want to give his name, said: ‘Anything you needed or wanted he’d have helped you out 

A 62-year-old man, whose house looked on to one of the cordons, said ‘It makes you wonder what’s going on round here, but isn’t that the state of the world at the moment?’

Wiltshire Police said: ‘We can confirm that following an incident in Summers Street, Swindon, shortly after 2am this morning a referral has been made to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

‘This is regarding the death of a member of the public.

An investigation has been launched by the Independent Office for Police Conduct and forensic experts were scouring the area

An investigation has been launched by the Independent Office for Police Conduct and forensic experts were scouring the area

An investigation has been launched by the Independent Office for Police Conduct and forensic experts were scouring the area

Following the suspected shooting, there's a major crime scene cordon in place in Summers Street, with the road closed between Rodbourne Road and Morrison Street

Following the suspected shooting, there's a major crime scene cordon in place in Summers Street, with the road closed between Rodbourne Road and Morrison Street

Following the suspected shooting, there’s a major crime scene cordon in place in Summers Street, with the road closed between Rodbourne Road and Morrison Street

‘The IOPC are independently investigating this incident so it would be inappropriate for us to comment any further on it.

‘We would, however, like to reassure the public there is no risk to the wider community and that there is likely to be an increased police presence in the area for a considerable time.’

The IOPC said: ‘The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has begun an independent investigation following an incident involving officers from Wiltshire Police in Summers Street, Swindon at just after 2am on 8 November.

‘At this early stage it is believed a 57-year-old man has been fatally shot during the police response to reports of two men arguing in the street.

Paramedics rushed to the scene on Summers Street and gave the man CPR but he died in the ambulance at 2.56am

Paramedics rushed to the scene on Summers Street and gave the man CPR but he died in the ambulance at 2.56am

Paramedics rushed to the scene on Summers Street and gave the man CPR but he died in the ambulance at 2.56am 

‘He was declared dead in an ambulance at 2.56am.

‘Our thoughts and sympathies are with all of those affected by this terrible incident.

‘OPC investigators are at the scene, and the post incident procedures where the key police witnesses will provide their initial accounts.

‘It is mandatory for us to conduct an independent investigation when the police fatally shoot a member of the public. We have established protocols with the police to ensure our investigations do not hinder their ability to conduct enquiries as part of their related investigations.’

The chairman of the Wiltshire Police Federation called for a prompt investigation by the watchdog. 

Mark Andrews said: ‘Officers who volunteer and are authorised to carry firearms on behalf of society – and who bravely do so to protect the public – are highly trained and are some of the best colleagues we have.

‘Our thoughts are with all involved in this incident in Swindon and we are offering our colleagues our full support at this time as they go through the post-incident process.

‘We call upon the Independent Office for Police Conduct to bring their investigation to a prompt conclusion for the benefit of all concerned.

‘It would be inappropriate to comment further at this time due to the ongoing investigation.’

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