Body found in hunt for man who shot police officer dead
POLICE hunting for a man suspected of killing an off-duty officer were searching a village green today amid reports that a body has been found.
PC Ian Dibell was shot dead and a member of the public sustained leg injuries after a gunman struck in a residential street in the seaside town of Clacton in Essex yesterday.
Police released a photograph of suspect Peter Reeve, 64, and vowed to "not rest" until he was captured and taken into custody.
But today Essex Police called a press conference to make a "significant update" about the hunt for Reeve amid reports that a body had been found in Writtle, near Chelmsford.
Richard Preston, who works at a nearby car dealership, said: "There were lots of police cars and ambulances, and one helicopter.
"It was around the village green area."
Police had released a photograph of suspect Peter Reeve, 64, and vowed to "not rest" until he is captured and taken into custody.
Detectives from Essex Police launched a round-the-clock search involving armed response units and scores of officers after Pc Dibell, 41, was shot in Redbridge Road at around 3.40pm on Monday. The force said it had found the suspected gunman's vehicle at a nearby road junction and warned members of the public not to approach Reeve.
Essex Police Chief Constable Jim Barker-McCardle described Pc Dibell as a "brave, respected and experienced neighbourhood officer" and said early indications were that he lost his life after deliberately intervening in an "extremely deadly situation".
He would not reveal the fine details of the altercation, but reports suggest the off-duty officer had challenged the gunman who was chasing a man and woman along Redbridge Road, where it is believed the dead policeman lived.
Speaking about Pc Dibell at the force's Chelmsford headquarters, the chief constable said: "This officer is a highly regarded and much loved colleague who has been a important part of Essex Police for 10 years. Policing is a family and we are all hurting. This dreadful event reminds us all that policing is a mission that ultimately some die for. We will not rest until we have Peter Reeve in custody, the investigation will continue round the clock."