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'No weapon found' in shooting car

A man shot dead by police officers may not have been armed, the police watchdog has indicated.

Anthony Paul Grainger, from Bolton, died of a single gunshot wound to the chest after the car he was in was stopped in the village of Culcheth, Cheshire, in what police described as a "pre-planned operation".

An "initial visual search" inside the car has failed to locate any weapons, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said.

The IPCC has also revealed that initial evidence collected suggests two police firearms were discharged during the incident on Saturday evening, though a full ballistic examination has yet to be undertaken on the recovered police weapons.

At this stage it is known that one round was discharged by an officer carrying a Heckler and Koch MP5 carbine and this passed through the car windscreen and struck Mr Grainger, 36, while he was sat in the driver's seat of a red Audi car.

Two Hatton rounds were discharged into the car's tyres by an officer carrying a shotgun in order to disable the vehicle. A CS canister was also deployed by hand into the vehicle by one of the firearms team.

An IPCC spokesman said: "Due to the presence of CS residue in the car a full forensic examination has not yet been conducted to establish whether there are any weapons in the car. This will take place in a controlled environment in the next few days. An initial visual search inside the Audi, and a search of the immediate vicinity of the car, has not located any weapons."

Initial statements have been taken from the officer who fired the fatal shot and the officer who was carrying the shotgun and the firearms team leader.

Nicholas Rheinberg, the coroner for Cheshire, has formally opened and adjourned the inquest into Mr Grainger's death at Warrington Coroner's Court.

The inquest heard that Mr Grainger was born in Salford and lived in Deane Church Lane, Bolton. His occupation was given as "odd job man".

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