Man arrested on suspicion of murdering police sergeant

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A 23-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murdering Metropolitan Police Sergeant Matt Ratana.

Sgt Ratana, 54, was shot at Croydon Custody Centre in south London in the early hours of September 25 as he prepared to search a handcuffed suspect.

He was taken to hospital but later died from his wounds.

The force did not name the suspect, but he is widely reported to be Louis De Zoysa.

No police firearms were discharged during the incident, the force said.

The 23-year-old’s condition, originally critical, has since “stabilised” and is “no longer considered life-threatening”, the force added in a statement.

Police said the man was considered fit to be arrested on suspicion of murder on Friday.

Sergeant Matt Ratana (Metropolitan Police/PA)
Sergeant Matt Ratana (Metropolitan Police/PA)

Specialist family liaison officers are supporting Sgt Ratana’s partner, son and wider family, who have been informed of the arrest.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said: “Matt’s loss hit the Met and the wider world everywhere very hard.

“He was a great officer with wonderful qualities and so many people have been impacted by his loss and will miss him a lot.

“You are aware a person was arrested for other offences before that, and after Matt was killed that person went to hospital.

“They have been very unwell but their condition has now stabilised and improved sufficiently for us to be able to arrest him for murder today.

“So, a 23-year-old man has been arrested for the murder of Matt Ratana.

“It’s an important milestone and hopefully it brings some tiny comfort to Matt’s partner Su, Matt’s wider family and everyone who has been affected.

“The investigation is moving on into a dreadful, dreadful homicide.”

An inquest opened at Croydon Coroner’s Court last month heard that Sgt Ratana had suffered a gunshot wound to the chest and died at St George’s Hospital in Tooting.

Dame Cressida was among those paying tribute to the New Zealand-born officer at a funeral held at a chapel in Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, last week.

Previous tributes to Sgt Ratana following his death remembered the police officer of almost 30 years as a “gentle giant” and “irreplaceable figure” who was part of the “police family”.

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