Murder suspect 'shot cop Matt Ratana, 54, dead while firing four bullets in custody suite and blasting himself in neck'

A MURDER suspect shot dead police sergeant Matt Ratana while firing four bullets in a Met custody suite and blasted himself in the neck, the Old Bailey heard today.

Sergeant Ratana, 54, died from a gunshot wound to the chest after handcuffed suspect Louis De Zoysa, 23, smuggled a revolver into a police station on September 25 last year.

The New Zealand-born officer was just two months away from retiring when he was gunned down inside Windmill Custody Centre, Croydon, in the early hours of the morning.

The officer – who had served with the Met since 1991 – was the first ever officer to be killed inside a British police station.

De Zoysa allegedly fired four times and one bullet hit Sgt Ratana in the chest as he searched the suspect.

The alleged shooter appeared at the Old Bailey from his hospital bed charged with murder, possession of a firearm and possession of ammunition.


Prosecutor Jocelyn Ledward told the court that on the night in question, De Zoysa "discharged four shots", the first of which killed Sgt Ratana.

The fourth and final shot hit De Zoysa in the neck causing his current injuries.

Judge Mark Lucraft said he would allow the next hearing to take place "with the defendant being present via CVP."

De Zoysa, from Banstead, Surrey, has been in a "stable, non-life-threatening condition" under police guard ever since the shooting.

The suspect, of Park Road, Banstead, was remanded in custody ahead of a plea and trial preparation hearing on 17 September.

De Zoysa suffered brain damage and had been unfit to be quizzed but a recent change to his condition meant he could be charged with murder.

Tragically, Sgt Ratana had been planning to propose to his partner of six years Su Bushby.

He was looking forward to settling down and believed his transfer to the custody unit would keep him safe.

Su, his heartbroken partner, had described the officer as a "gentle giant" after he was shot dead.

The officer was a dad to a grown-up son, 26, and dreamed of travelling across Europe on his motorbike then coaching at East Grinstead rugby club.

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Following his death, Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick had laid a wreath at the National Police Memorial alongside Sadiq Khan and Home Secretary Priti Patel.

Dame Cressida described him as a 'proud kiwi' and said: 'Matt was an extraordinary person…

He had a wonderful personality and he was very good at his job.' Players and supporters at East Grinstead rugby club also paid their respects to their former coach.

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