Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Gun found in car after man shot dead in police swoop on motorway slip road

A gun has been found in the car a 28-year-old man was travelling in when he was shot dead by police during a "pre-planned" operation on a motorway slip road, the police watchdog has said.

Father-of-two Mohammed Yassar Yaqub died after he was shot by police at junction 24 of the M62 at Ainley Top, just north of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, on Monday evening.

Mr Yaqub's death is being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), which said in a statement: " What appears to be a non-police issue firearm was discovered in the vehicle in which Mr Yaqub was travelling, and is being further examined."

The IPCC said a post-mortem examination on Mr Yaqub's body is due to take place on Wednesday and its investigators are continuing to seek any relevant CCTV footage.

IPCC Commissioner Derrick Campbell said: "My thoughts are with Mr Yaqub's family and all those affected at this difficult time.

"Though in its early stages, this investigation is making good progress but will be complex.

"We will be working hard to establish exactly what happened and would ask for patience while our investigation continues."

West Yorkshire Police said its operation, which included stopping another car near Bradford, "related to information received about criminal possession of a firearm" and was not terror-related.

Five people were arrested across the two vehicle stops - three in Huddersfield and two in Bradford - and remain in custody.

Several of those arrested needed hospital treatment for injuries "not related to firearm discharge" but no police officers were hurt, a force spokesman said.

Mr Yaqub was from the Crosland Moor area of Huddersfield, where his father is a well-known businessman.

In a statement, Mr Yaqub's Bradford-based lawyers said: "Mr Yaqub's family are in shock, and are distraught. They would ask the media to respect their privacy at this difficult time.

"The family are fully aware that the incident that led to the death of Mr Yaqub is currently being investigated by the IPCC and they do not wish to make any further comment at this stage."

His relatives said they did not want to speak as they gathered at his home in a cul-de-sac in the Crosland Moor area.

But many family members left the property in Rudding Street when armed police arrived, apparently to search the property.

At least five police vehicles arrived in the surrounding streets, including a dog van, and officers with guns were positioned at the front and back of the house before leaving about 30 minutes later.

Earlier, flowers were taken to the house as a number of relatives arrived, some embracing as they went inside.

Witnesses reported seeing "five or six" police cars, a Mercedes E-Class and a Jaguar at the scene of the shooting.

A silver Audi with bullet holes in its windscreen could be seen for most of Tuesday, surrounded by other vehicles at the bottom of the off-slip of the westbound carriageway of the M62 as police and forensic teams continued their investigation.

Lorries arrived to begin the process of removing all the vehicles and reopening the motorway junction at teatime.

Nearby residents said they did not hear any shots but were alerted by a huge police presence at about 6pm on Monday which they first thought indicated a major road accident.

Shahnaz Malik, whose house is the closest to the scene, said she looked over her fence to see a large number of officers around the various vehicles.

"There was like a swarm," she said. "There was a lot. It was dark as well."

She said: "It was surreal. It was like time had stood still, so many police buzzing around."

Ms Malik said Ainley Top was a tight-knit community and the shooting has shocked people living in the area.

"It's quite frightening. It's a little village and we all sort of know who's who."

She added: "It's absolutely horrendous."

In 2010 a Yassar Yaqub from Rudding Street went on trial after it was claimed that he opened fire on a car in Birkby Hall Road in Huddersfield.

But the defendant was acquitted of attempted murder after a judge ruled there was insufficient evidence.

People living close to Rudding Street said on Tuesday that Mr Yaqub's house was targeted by gunmen more than a year ago.

In June 2015, police said two people suffered minor injuries when a shotgun was fired in Rudding Street by balaclava-clad gunmen as children played.

Police described this incident as a "targeted attack".

Nadeem Murtuja, chairman of the human rights and racial justice campaign group JUST Yorkshire, called on West Yorkshire Police to disclose to the IPCC the full chain of events that led to the shooting.

He said: "There is a great deal of disquiet in the community about the death of Mr Yaqub and it is crucial that both his family and the Huddersfield community are kept informed about the conduct of the investigation and the events that led to the fatal shooting."

There were reports of a protest against the shooting blocking Leeds Road, in Bradford, on Tuesday evening.

Social media postings showed a group of people holding banners and stopping traffic on the road to the east of the city centre.

Metro News Travel tweeted that some bus services had been diverted due to the demonstration.

West Yorkshire Police said it had deployed officers to the area "to facilitate a peaceful protest".

The force said: "Police empathise with the heightened tensions and engaged with protesters to appeal for calm. They are continuing working with members of the community, partners and local officers to maintain community cohesion and police relations."

There was some low-level disorder although no arrests were made. West Yorkshire Police said officers were remaining in the area to provide reassurance to members of the public.


From Belfast Telegraph