Man accused of shooting Sergeant Matt Ratana while in Croydon police station ‘had a job with HMRC’ 


The man accused of shooting Metropolitan Police Sergeant Matt Ratana while in custody in a Croydon police station had a government job, according to reports.

Suspected shooter Louis De Zoysa was an employee of HMRC in the run-up to the fatal shooting last month, the Sun on Sunday reports.

Bosses are probing what clearance the 23-year-old had and if it gave him access to official data, such as tax records, or even to weapons, the paper says.

MailOnline tonight contacted HMRC, but a spokesperson said the government department were unable to comment on the reports.

De Zoysa, of Norbury, South London, is suspected of fatally wounding Sergeant Ratana, 54, after smuggling a revolver into a custody area in Croydon, South London, during an incident on September 25.

Sergeant Ratana died after being shot in the heart at 2.15am as he was preparing to search a handcuffed suspect who had been arrested on suspicion of intent to supply drugs and possession of ammunition in Croydon.

Sergeant Ratana (pictured right with Met Police chief Cressida Dick) died after being shot in the heart at 2.15am as he was preparing to search a handcuffed suspect who had been arrested on suspicion of intent to supply drugs and possession of ammunition in Croydon.

Suspected shooter Louis De Zoysa (pictured left in his school days) was an employee of HMRC in the run-up to the fatal shooting of Sergeant Matt Ratana (pictured right with Met Police chief Cressida Dick) last month, the Sun on Sunday reports

MailOnline tonight contacted HMRC for a comment, but a spokesperson said the government department were unable to comment.

MailOnline tonight contacted HMRC for a comment, but a spokesperson said the government department were unable to comment.

The suspect was in a holding cell when he is said to have reached into his trousers for the weapon and fired off five shots with his hands still cuffed behind his back, wounding himself in the process.

The alleged gunman is critically ill in hospital after he shot himself in the neck.

Last month, neighbours around De Zoysa’s family’s £700,000 terraced home in Norbury said the ‘awkward’ loner was autistic and suggested he had suffered from mental health issues which may have triggered a referral to Prevent – the Government’s deradicalisation programme for suspected extremists – in 2018.

He is understood to have lived at the house with his mother Elizabeth, a translator who ran as a Green candidate in local elections, and his Sri Lankan father Channa, a former yoga teacher said to be passionate about recycling who repairs bicycles for free.

Last month, neighbours around De Zoysa's family's £700,000 terraced home in Norbury said the 'awkward' loner was autistic and suggested he had suffered from mental health issues

Last month, neighbours around De Zoysa’s family’s £700,000 terraced home in Norbury said the ‘awkward’ loner was autistic and suggested he had suffered from mental health issues

The Catholic couple, who run an events company, have five children. Local residents said police were often seen at the address.

De Zoysa was described by his friends as a ‘maths geek’ who was ‘good with weapons’ in his school yearbook, with fellow pupils claiming he ‘could have gone to Oxbridge’.

His yearbook entry featured a picture of him in school uniform with one friend saying he was ‘very clever’ and another adding: ‘One day we will rule the world together’.

The photograph was taken when De Zoysa was aged 16 and in year 11 at John Fisher School, a 1,000-pupil Roman Catholic boys’ comprehensive in Purley, South London.

Sergeant Matt Ratana fought for two hours before dying from a gunshot wound to the chest after being fired upon ‘several times’ by a suspect in handcuffs inside a police station, a coroner was told earlier this week.

The inquest heard Mr Ratana was taken to St George’s Hospital in Tooting but he was pronounced dead at 4.20am.

Mr Blackman said the preliminary cause of death given following the post-mortem examination was a gunshot wound to the chest.

Police officers across the UK fell silent to remember ‘gentle giant’ Sergeant Ratana on Friday.

At 11am, colleagues from across the country paid tribute to Sgt Ratana, calling him a close friend who was part of the ‘police family’.

Officers up and down Britain observed a minutes silence in memory of Sgt Ratana with many forces sharing images of their solemn tributes to social media.

Sergeant Matt Ratana was shot dead in a London police station by a handcuffed suspect

Sergeant Matt Ratana was shot dead in a London police station by a handcuffed suspect

Dame Cressida, Home Secretary Priti Patel and London Mayor Sadiq Khan attend the National Police Memorial in London shortly after Ratana's death

Dame Cressida, Home Secretary Priti Patel and London Mayor Sadiq Khan attend the National Police Memorial in London shortly after Ratana’s death

Police in Swansea, Birmingham, Milton Keynes, Fenland, Surrey were among those who shared pictures of their officers taking part in the memorial – lead by Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick who bowed her head outside the London force’s HQ.

Paying tribute to Sgt Ratana, Dame Cressida told the Evening Standard: ‘Matt was a great police officer. He was a fine skipper — our word for a sergeant — and a lovely man, with a ready smile and a big heart.

‘As his partner, Su, described Matt, he was a real “gentle giant”.’

British Transport Police in the West Midlands said their ‘thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues’ while BTP in North Scotland also paid their respects.

Police and forensics officers working at the home of suspect De Zoysa also took part in the minute’s silence by standing outside the Norbury, London property.

Hackney police tweeted a picture of a vigil with candles and flowers that was held in honour of Sgt Ratana by officers on the night shift on Thursday.

PC Paul Reading, of the Metropolitan Police, said Sgt Ratana was well loved by all and even criminals liked him.

‘Everyone liked him, even people he arrested,’ he said.

Police and forensics officers working at the home of suspect Louis De Zoysa also took part in the minute's silence by standing outside the Norbury, London property

Police and forensics officers working at the home of suspect Louis De Zoysa also took part in the minute’s silence by standing outside the Norbury, London property

Officers behind police tape stand in a minutes silence for fallen comrade Matt Ratana outside De Zoysa's Norbury home today

Officers behind police tape stand in a minutes silence for fallen comrade Matt Ratana outside De Zoysa’s Norbury home today

Police officers hang their heads in a sollemn tribute to Sgt Ratana at the National Police Memorial in London at 11 am this morning

Police officers hang their heads in a sollemn tribute to Sgt Ratana at the National Police Memorial in London at 11 am this morning

PC Reading had known Sgt Ratana, who was born in New Zealand, since 2008 when both were based at Harrow Road.

In a touching tribute to his friend, he said the officer would regularly visit the station while off duty because he ‘always wanted to be around his police family’.

‘He was a real approachable man, he looked after his team,’ he said.

‘He was your typical, big, strong Kiwi rugby player and he was so proud of his heritage.’

He said Sgt Ratana was dedicated to his job, adding: ‘He was your old-fashioned copper, very fair, very firm, and he would treat everyone like you would want your parents to be treated.’

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