Attempts to catch Raoul Moat alive with electric stun guns “define the British style of policing”, a former PSNI Chief Constable has said.
Sir Hugh Orde, now leader of the country's police chiefs, said he was proud of attempts to arrest the wanted murderer without further loss of life.
The news comes as four more people were arrested yesterday on suspicion of helping fugitive gunman Moat, bringing the total to 20, Northumbria Police said.
Two of them have been charged with conspiracy to murder and will appear before Newcastle Crown Court tomorrow.
And a second post-mortem examination on the killer's body will be held at the request of his brother, Angus, a police source said, with reports saying it will be held today.
Sir Hugh, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), said it was “surprising” police even considered the approach considering Moat's threats and criminal history.
Bouncer Moat (37), from Newcastle, shot his ex-lover, killed her boyfriend and blasted an unarmed policeman, then went on the run for a week before shooting himself in Rothbury, Northumberland.
Speaking in London yesterday, Sir Hugh said: “The idea that they would deploy a Taser to try and bring him in alive defines the British style of policing better than I ever could.
“Frankly, in a situation like that, the notion that anyone would consider using anything other than lethal force just sums up the British style of policing.
“The effort to bring somebody as dangerous as that into custody using the minimum possible use of force is a very clear indication of what they were trying to do.
“Bearing in mind the history of this guy, it is surprising they would even consider this kind of approach.”
Sir Hugh said it is right that the coroner will examine the types of weapon, including electric stun guns, used by police in the confrontation.