Officer who shot Chris Kaba is being investigated for murder, inquest opening hears
THE Met Police armed officer who shot Chris Kaba is being investigated for his murder it was confirmed today.
The Independent Office of Police Conduct previously announced it was carrying out a homicide investigation, which can cover murder or manslaughter.
However, at the opening of the inquest into the death of construction worker Mr Kaba, 24, this morning, Dean Brown, lead IOPC investigator on the case said: "The officer is under criminal investigation for the offence of murdering Mr Kaba."
Inner South London Coroner’s Court heard today that Mr Kaba was driving an Audi that was wanted in connection with a firearms incident the previous day.
Mr Brown said: "Mr Kaba was driving an Audi in south London that was believed to e linked to a firearms incident the previous day and there was automatic number plate recognition placed upon it."
Police had been briefed about the vehicle earlier in the day, but there had been no association to Mr Kaba at that stage, the court heard.
Mr Brown said the Audi was recognised by armed undercover officers in an unmarked vehicle in the Camberwell Green area of south London, which began to follow it, which they circulated on the police airways.
The police vehicle was tailing the Audi at 9:52pm.Mr Brown added: "Officers had not activated their lights or sirens and intended to use an enforced stop. At 10:07pm Chris Kaba turned left into New Park Road and then into Kirkstall Gardens where there was already an armed police response vehicle."
He said the second police vehicle joined the pursuit after Mr Kaba passed it and this vehicle contained the officer who fired the fatal shot.
It was then that the police vehicles drove at the Audi and boxed it in to bring it to a controlled stop.
Mr Brown added: "Armed offices exited and approached the Audi...and an armed officer, who was at the front, fired a single shot that pierced the front windscreen and struck (Mr Kaba).
"Officers at the scene gave first aid and he was taken to Kings College Hospital where at 12:16am he was pronounced dead."
The body was identified by Mr Kaba's father Prosper Kaba, who was in court with Mr Kaba's mother, brother and a cousin.
Mr Brown said substantial progress had been made in the investigation with IOPC investigators on the scene on the night it happened and they have since carried out door-to-door and CCTV enquiries and examined the Audi and a numner of police vehicles.
Its investigation is expected to last six to eight months with the family updated every 28 days.
Coroner Andrew Harris began the hearing by offering his condolences to relatives including Mr Kaba’s parents.
Mr Harris asked Mr Brown if it was a case were he needed to suspend the inquest proceedings due to the possibility of criminal charges being imminent, but Mr Brown said "no".
The IOPC has previously confirmed Mr Kaba was not armed, but this was not mentioned today at court.
Mr Harris said the IOPC probe would be concluded before the inquest was reconveyed.
The Metropolitan Police marksman who shot Mr Kaba has been suspended from duty.
Chris Kaba’s cousin Jefferson Bosela embraced Mr Kaba’s tearful mother Helen Lumuanganu outside the court and the family called for a swifter outcome to the investigation.
Mr Bosela said: “An urgent decision on criminal charges is critical for this family and many others to have faith in a system that is supposed to bring them justice.”