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'Warnings' before Duggan shooting

Specialist police firearms officers shouted warnings at the time a father of four was shot dead in an incident which sparked rioting, police witnesses told an inquest today .

Policemen said they heard shouts of "armed police" as a minicab in which 29-year-old Mark Duggan - who was thought to be carrying a gun - was travelling was stopped in Tottenham, north London on August 4 2011.

A detective said he did not know why he had not mentioned the warnings in a written witness statement - but he said he was sure that he had heard firearms officers shouting "police, police, police".

And a surveillance officer said he "obviously" heard shouts of "armed police".

Mr Duggan was being watched by officers involved in investigating a gang known to use firearms and violence, police told the inquest in London.

His death triggered riots in London and other parts of Britain.

A number of officers involved in a surveillance operation prior to the shooting gave evidence at a "closed session".

Journalists were barred from the room where the hearing was taking place but allowed to watch footage screened to another room.

Footage did not show police witnesses - and the coroner, Judge Keith Cutler, ordered cameras were turned off when they entered and left - and officers were identified only by numbers and letters.

The detective said he heard shouts of "police, police, armed police" and told jurors: "Lots of shouting. Lots of commotion going on."

He added: "What I heard that day was officers shouting, 'police, police, police'."

A lawyer representing the Duggan family said the detective had not mentioned the warnings in a written witness statement.

"I haven't put it in my statement," said the detective. "I don't know why I haven't put it in but it is what I heard."

He said police had intelligence that Mr Duggan was "about to take possession of a firearm" and was travelling in a mini-cab from the Shoreditch area of east London.

The surveillance officer told jurors: "I obviously heard them shouting 'armed police'."

He had said in a witness statement: "I heard a lot of shouting. The most distinctive words used (were) 'armed police, armed police'. I then heard at least one shot fired and possibly two."

Another officer involved said he collected a pistol "wrapped in dark cloth, possibly a sock" from an area of grass near where Mr Duggan was shot.

The inquest adjourned for the day and will resume on Tuesday.

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