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'Suicidal' man shot dead by armed police after hour-long standoff was father-of-four 'seeking help'

AN armed man who was shot dead by Metropolitan Police officers after he threatened to take his own life was a father-of-four from Lithuania.

Giedrius Vasiljevas, 40, was shot twice by armed police at his house in Dagenham, East London at around 9pm on Thursday, November 23 2023.

At 7:59pm on Thursday, November 23, police officers were called to Weston Green, Dagenham, east London.

He had earlier phoned 999 and told the operator that he wanted to take his own life and that he had loaded guns, according to a police statement.

Officers were sent to his home using a specialist negotiator to try to defuse the situation.

However, But Mr Vasiljevas is understood to have confronted officers on his doorstep before shots were fired at him.

A Met Police spokesman said: "Police continued efforts to engage with the man throughout in an effort to bring the incident to a safe conclusion.

"However, shortly before 9pm shots were fired by police.

"Officers immediately provided first aid, including CPR, but despite their efforts and those of paramedics, the man was sadly pronounced dead at the scene at 9:30pm.

"The investigation is in its very early stages.

"A non police firearm was located by officers at the scene. A further search of the address suggests nobody else was present at the time of the incident."

Commander Kyle Gordon, Frontline Policing Commander for North and East London, said: “My thoughts are with the loved ones of the man who has died, with the local community in Dagenham and the officers involved in this incident.

“His relatives will receive our full support.”

The Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards was made aware immediately after the incident and the Independent Office for Police Conduct has been informed.

His wife, Sigita Vasiljeva has said he had been suffering with mental health issues.

She said: "He was a hardworking family man and a good father, but he needed psychological treatment and he couldn't find the help he needed."

A family friend said: "Giedrius had been suffering from poor mental health. He'd be talking to people who weren't there and last week he'd acted strange and got up at 3am to start washing clothes.

"I don't know if he'd been diagnosed with anything, but he'd tried to get help for his mental health. Yet the problems continued.

"He had a rifle-type gun because he'd apparently found one in the back of his shed when he moved into the house.

"What happened when the police arrived at the house, we just don't know fully yet. It's under investigation and nobody has told us too much. We're still awaiting answers on a lot of things.

"But Giedrius was a good man, he just needed some help."

Assistant Met Commissioner Matt Twist said: “Our thoughts remain with the loved ones of the man who has died, with the local community in Dagenham and the officers involved in this incident.

“The IOPC is independently investigating this matter. It is right that officers are held to account when shots are fired, and we will work with the IOPC to provide all the information they need to carry out their enquiries.

“Our armed officers are highly trained and work around the clock to keep people safe in London. We ask them to do an incredibly difficult job every day and make split second decisions under huge pressure. A fatal police shooting is rare. The officers involved in this matter are being supported as they assist the IOPC investigation.”

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is investigating as is required with all police shootings.

IOPC director Amanda Rowe said: “Our thoughts are with the man’s family and all of those affected by this tragic incident.

“We have spoken with his family to offer our sympathies and explain our role.

“Given a man has died after being shot by police, our role is to investigate all of the circumstances surrounding this incident including the actions and decisions taken by the police.

“We know there will be questions about what happened but it’s important that we establish the facts about this incident before we comment further.”

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