One gunshot killed man whose death sparked riots
The man shot by police - sparking the riots which have hit London for several nights - died of a single gunshot wound to the chest, an inquest heard today.
Mark Duggan, 29, was killed by armed officers last Thursday in Ferry Lane, Tottenham, north London, after they stopped the minicab he was in to carry out an arrest as part of a pre-planned operation.
An inquest which opened this morning at North London Coroner's Court in High Barnet heard that the father-of-four died of a single gunshot wound to the chest.
He was pronounced dead at 6.41pm on Thursday evening.
Colin Sparrow, deputy senior investigator for the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), told the brief hearing that their "complex investigation" could take four to six months.
Coroner for the Northern District of Greater London Andrew Walker adjourned the hearing to December 12 when a pre-inquest review will be held.
Mr Walker told members of Mr Duggan's family, including his fiancee Semone Wilson: "Can I just offer my deepest sympathies to the family of Mark Duggan.
"As members of the family will know, in due course there will be an inquest touching the death of Mark Duggan and this is the first stage in that process.
"Of course, as well as offering our deepest sympathies to members of the family, I would like to reassure members of the family that we will be working closely with Mr Duggan's family and the IPCC throughout the process."
Paul Anderson-Walsh, managing director of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, said the riots were outrageous and diverting attention away from key questions.
"As an organisation founded in the wake of the murder of Stephen Lawrence, our primary concern is to ensure that the Duggan family are able to get to the truth concerning the killing of their son," he said.
"The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust denounces lawlessness in all its forms, especially such counter-productive violence as we have witnessed this weekend.
"These disturbances, which the Duggan family have rightly disassociated themselves from, are not only outrageous but, more damagingly, they deflect attention away from the core question which is why a 29-year-old father-of-four died allegedly after being shot by a police marksman following an operation mounted by the Metropolitan Police.
"Our deepest sympathies lie with the Duggan family and we applaud them for their dignity and call for both calm in our community and answers be provided to our community.
"This deplorable episode is an opportunity for our community to lead and not to blindly follow.
"As we strive for criminal justice, let us also relentlessly pursue social justice and do so in the knowledge that we must not be overcome by despair but overcome this with hope and positive action."
After the hearing, Mr Duggan's family said they were deeply distressed by the disorder in the wake of his death.
In a statement on their behalf, Helen Shaw, from the organisation Inquest, said: "We come to the opening of the inquest today. The investigation is ongoing and we want to establish the truth.
"The family want everyone to know that the disorder going on has nothing to do with finding out what has happened to Mark.
"They also want people to know they are deeply distressed by the disorder affecting communities across the country."