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Police received call about M5 gun incident an hour before officers shot driver

A man died after officers from Avon and Somerset Police opened fire on the A369 Portbury Hundred road.

Police in the Midlands received a report of a man pointing a gun at another motorist on the M5 about an hour before a driver was shot by police just off the motorway near Bristol.

West Mercia Police said officers received the call at 8.30am on Wednesday, with the man reported to be near junction eight of the motorway.

A man died after officers from Avon and Somerset Police opened fire on the A369 Portbury Hundred road, close to the M5 Gordano services, at about 9.30am.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has been informed of the call, a spokesman for West Mercia Police said.

“We can confirm that we received a call at 8.30am yesterday of a report of a man in a vehicle, pointing a gun at another motorist and that was near junction eight of the M5,” he said.

“That was passed on to the central motorway police group (CMPG). We have informed the IPCC about this call.”

Avon and Somerset Police said it had received calls from “concerned” people travelling on the M5 who reported seeing a man in a car with a handgun.

The vehicle left the motorway at junction 19 and officers stopped the car on the A369, known as the Portbury Hundred.

Shots were fired in an “incident involving police firearms” and a man died, a force spokeswoman said.

(Claire Hayhurst/PA)

The IPCC were informed of the incident and have begun an independent investigation.

A spokeswoman for the police watchdog said: “What appears to be a non-police issue firearm was found at the scene and will also be subject to examination.”

Images of the scene showed what appeared to be a handgun on the roof of the red Suzuki Swift.

There were at least four bullet holes in the off-side of the vehicle and the driver’s side front window was smashed.

(Claire Hayhurst/PA)

Blood and glass, as well as a sun hat, could be seen on the floor by the hatchback.

A post-mortem examination of the man’s body was due to take place on Thursday.

Witnesses previously described seeing police shoot into a stationary red Suzuki Swift that had been stopped by officers.

David Ellison told BBC Radio Bristol: “Ahead of me were police in the road. I saw them back off from a car and then they surrounded it. They maybe shot with handguns five, six, maybe 10 times. Then they dragged a man from the car to resuscitate him.”

Frazer Phillips, from Bristol, wrote on the Hello Portishead Facebook page: “I was right next to it when it happened and heard about 4-5 shots.”

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