Murdered policeman 'took a bullet'
Published 12/07/2012 | 05:02
A lorry driver who was targeted by a gunman has relived the moment a murdered off-duty policeman "took a bullet" for him at point blank-range.
Trevor Marshall, 48, said Pc Ian Dibell had saved his life by confronting killer Peter Reeve as he went on the rampage in a quiet residential street.
The shaken haulier, who was shot and run over by Reeve during a terrifying chase, described how the hero officer "walked straight into the line of fire" before being shot through the open window of a car.
Reliving Monday's drama, he revealed how neighbour Reeve was lying in wait for him and his girlfriend in a stairwell as they returned to their block of flats in Clacton, Essex, following a day out. Mr Marshall told The Sun: "Reeve was like a crazed animal. I stared into his eyes and they were totally dead. He wanted to kill me but I don't know why."
The HGV driver said Reeve fired a shot at the pair, but missed, before they fled on foot to the road outside. He added: "We were terrified and ran for our lives."
As the couple split up, Mr Marshall said Reeve chased him and continued to fire shots, before jumping in a car. It was at that point that Pc Dibell, 41, and another man approached the gunman.
Mr Marshall said that the Essex officer leaned into the car on the driver's side, before talking to Reeve for around 30 seconds. He was then shot at point-blank range.
Mr Marshall, who lived in the flat below Reeve, continued: "Pc Dibell - a man I'd never met before - stood between me and certain death. I was being chased by a man with an armed revolver and Pc Dibell confronted him and took a bullet for me."
He added: "I was running away. But this off-duty police officer was walking straight into the line of fire, into the line of danger. He is a real hero. He lost his life trying to protect us. He paid the ultimate sacrifice to save me, just a normal bloke, a lorry driver."
After killing Pc Dibell in Redbridge Road, Mr Marshall said Reeve resumed the chase, hitting him with his car before shooting him in the arm. It was only after he hid in a doorway that the gunman gave up the chase, sparking a major police manhunt which lasted more than 17 hours.