Armed police in Britain are hunting for a man suspected of killing an off-duty policeman who was gunned down after intervening in a dispute near his home.
Pc Ian Dibell was shot dead and a member of the public sustained leg injuries after a gunman struck in a residential street in the seaside town of Clacton in Essex.
Police have released a photograph of suspect Peter Reeve, 64, and vowed to “not rest” until he is captured and taken into custody.
Detectives from Essex Police launched a round-the-clock search involving armed response units and scores of officers after Pc Dibell, 41, was shot in Redbridge Road at around 3.40pm yesterday.
The force said it had found the suspected gunman’s vehicle at a nearby road junction and warned members of the public not to approach Reeve, who is believed to be armed.
Essex Police Chief Constable Jim Barker-McCardle described Pc Dibell as a “brave, respected and experienced neighbourhood officer” and said early indications were that he lost his life after deliberately intervening in an “extremely deadly situation”.
He would not reveal the fine details of the altercation, but reports suggest the off-duty officer had challenged the gunman who was chasing a man and woman along Redbridge Road, where it is believed the dead policeman lived.
Speaking about Pc Dibell at the force’s Chelmsford headquarters yesterday, the chief constable said: “This officer is a highly regarded and much loved colleague who has been a important part of Essex Police for 10 years.
“Policing is a family and we are all hurting. This dreadful event reminds us all that policing is a mission that ultimately some die for.