In June 2021, an incident unfolded in Two Mile Ash, where Thames Valley Police (TVP) officers fatally shot Kelvin Igweani.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has now concluded that the use of lethal force was necessary, given the circumstances, and that the officers acted appropriately.
Investigators found that armed officers from TVP responded to a report of a domestic disturbance at a property in Denmead.
Upon entering the flat, they discovered the body of Richard Woodcock, a neighbour.
Igweani then confronted them, and although a Taser was discharged, it proved ineffective.
Igweani subsequently barricaded himself inside another room with a young child.
Due to noises coming from the room, officers believed the child was in immediate danger.
The officers forced their way into the room, causing a wardrobe to fall on Igweani and the child.
When Igweani approached the officers with his arm raised, one officer fired four shots, with two hitting him.
Initially, the officer believed Igweani was armed with a knife. Despite administering first aid, Igweani was pronounced dead at the scene.
The child, who suffered various injuries, including a fractured eye socket and skull, has since fully recovered.
Blood pattern analysis revealed that the child had been punched by Igweani and possibly struck with a part of the broken wardrobe.
IOPC Regional Director Mel Palmer stated, “The evidence shows the officers perceived there to be an immediate threat to life as they had seen the body of Mr. Woodcock when they entered the property and heard the cries of a distressed child in another room.”
She added that the officers were presented with a traumatic and distressing situation, and their decision to shoot Igweani was deemed “necessary, proportionate, and reasonable.”
Before the incident, Igweani’s family had raised concerns about his mental health with West Midlands Police.
They were advised to seek medical help, a response that the IOPC considered appropriate.
The family also filed a complaint about TVP’s scene management following the incident, but the IOPC found their actions to be suitable.
The IOPC investigation, which concluded in March 2022, thoroughly analysed evidence such as body-worn video footage, 999 call recordings, blood pattern analysis and ballistics reports, forensic evidence, and TVP policies and procedures regarding the use of firearms and Tasers.
Join our WhatsApp community!
ESN is now on WhatsApp, and we want you to join our communities.
To join, you need to have WhatsApp on your device. All you need to do is click the link and press 'Join community'.
No one will be able to see who is signed up, and no one can send messages except the ESN team.
Joining our WhatsApp channel is a great way to help support our work and best of all, it is free!
If you don't like our community, you can check out any time you like. To leave our community, click on the name at the top of your screen and choose 'exit group'.