MATT RATANA POLICE MURDER: Search of extensive Surrey site could last several days
A SEARCH of a site in Surrey in connection with the investigation into the murder of Police Sgt Matt Ratana could take serval days.
Mr Ratana was shot dead at 2.14am on Friday in Croydon police custody suite by a handcuffed prisoner who had been able to hide the gun from arresting officers.
The 23-year-old suspect Louis de Soysa remains in a critical condition in hospital after he was also shot by his own revolver during the incident.
The site being searched, off Park Road, in Banstead, Surrey, has several derelict buildings and more than 30 acres of land.
Residents reported hearing a controlled explosion come from the site and that youths had previously been seen visiting at night.
CRITICAL: Louis de Zoysa remains in hospital and has not been interviewed (Facebook)
A Met Police spokesman said: "The search is complex and is expected to take days to complete."
Led by homicide detectives from the Specialist Crime Command, the team is supported by forensic specialists, search teams and local officers.
A detailed search also continues at an address in Southbrook Road, Norbury, where....is believed to have lived.
The spokesman added: "A search also took place of an area of London Road, Pollards Hill, South London, where the suspect was initially arrested.
"A further search has also taken place at a central London location. Croydon Custody Centre, in Windmill Lane, where the shooting took place, remains a crime scene.
"The suspect remains in hospital in a critical condition. Due to his condition, investigators have been unable to speak to him."
A second suspect remains in custody at a South London police station on suspicion of supplying a firearm.
He was arrested at around 2am on Sunday 27 September in Norwich, Norfolk.
The inquiry is being led by specialist detectives and is not a counter terrorism investigation.
A number of officers are providing statements as witnesses as part of the post incident procedure. This process is being undertaken jointly with the Independent Office for Police Conduct. It will take some time to conclude.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Cundy, responsible for the investigation, said: “It is five days since the murder of our colleague and our work continues at a high tempo.
“We have traced a number of witnesses who have been able to contribute significant information about the events leading up to the shooting.
“We continue to pursue multiple lines of inquiry and consider the results of initial forensic examinations,
HONOUR: Matt Ratana received a commendation from Met Commissioner Cressida Dick in 2017
including of the gun recovered from custody.
“The murder of Sgt Ratana sent shockwaves through the Metropolitan Police Service. Nevertheless his colleagues are determined to find justice for him and his family.
“One of my priorities remains to ensure that any future prosecution is not jeopardised and I would again highlight that speculation over what took place on Friday is unhelpful.
“I would like to thank everyone for their continued support which I know has buoyed colleagues at this extremely dark time.”
Meanwhile, a fund in memory of Mr Ratana has been set up by the Metropolitan Police Hayes Sports Club, known as The Warren, where he was a regular visitor.
Anyone wishing to make a donation can do so at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/matt-ratana
The fund will be administered by the Metropolitan Police Hayes Sports Club - The Warren.
The club is independent of the Metropolitan Police Service, however the Metropolitan Police Service recognise this is an official fundraising account.
The funds will be distributed in Matt’s memory, for his benefit. The Warren will ensure there is appropriate governance of any funds donated. Details of how the money will be distributed will be published by them in due course.