Clacton police shooting: Peter Reeve found dead

Jul 10, 2012

Off-duty policeman killed in Clacton-on-Sea after suspect took potshots while chasing neighbours

Essex Police

PETER REEVE, the 64-year-old resident of Clacton-on-Sea suspected of shooting dead Pc Ian Dibell yesterday afternoon, has been found dead in a churchyard in Writtle, near Chelmsford.

Essex police Chief Constable Jim Barker-McCardle said no shots were fired by police. Reeve was found dead with a handgun and a head wound after a member of the public led police to the churchyard this morning.

Residents were earlier told to stay indoors and not approach Reeve (above), described as white and about 5ft 10in, with short greyish hair. It was thought he might be wearing glasses.

More than 100 officers, aided by helicopters and dog units, were involved in one of the biggest searches since the manhunt for Raoul Moat in Northumbria two years ago.

As The Times reports, Pc Dibell (below) was off-duty at the time. He was shot in the head at close range when he went into the street to help a man who had been shot in the leg.

Barker McCardle, said Dibell, 41, had "deliberately intervened in what he knew was an extremely deadly situation".

According to the Daily Mail, Reeve started shooting wildly as he chased two neighbours with whom he had been locked in a long-running row over noise and parking.

"I saw the guy... chasing two people out of the building into the street," one resident told the paper. "A girl and a guy in their 30s ran out and I could see this man firing potshots at them."

The man being chased was hit in the leg and and fell to the ground shouting, "Help, help" to Pc Dibell.

"Next thing I knew a shot was fired and the policeman was on the floor," the witness continued. "I think he was shot in the head but it all happened so quickly."

Reeve reappeared in the street two minutes after the shots were fired and drove off in his car. The vehicle was later found abandoned in Clacton.

Sir Hugh Orde, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, said: "Pc Ian Dibell died while knowingly walking towards danger. The courage he showed in stepping up to do his duty, without thought for his own safety, sums up what it means to be a police officer."

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