Man shot by police was unlawfully killed, inquest finds

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A man who was shot by police while carrying an ax through the center of the plow was killed illegally, an investigative jury has ruled.

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Lewis Skelton died after being shot twice by a police officer, when Tasers had no effect, the jury at Hull Coroner’s Court heard.

The jury heard that he was executed after failing to respond to the officers’ instructions.


On 29 November 2016, Humberside Police received three 999 calls stating that a man was walking down Main Street with an axe.

Armed police were deployed to Caroline’s Place in the city center and two officers were apprehended with Skelton, who had mental health problems.

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The officer who fired the fatal shots – identified only as B50 – said how Mr Skelton failed to stop when challenged. He said that the use of the Taser four times by both him and his colleague – identified only as Charlie – had no effect.

Skelton was shot twice in the back with a Glock pistol.

The officer said he shot Skelton because he believed he was a threat to the lives of a group of workmen who were approaching him on the street.

Humberside Police Assistant Chief Constable Chris Noble said: “We are disappointed by this finding and concerned that it does not undermine the confidence of officers to act decisively when making split-second decisions to protect the public. “

He said an earlier decision by the Granthshala Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) found that the officers had not committed any criminal offense or required disciplinary action.

“Now we are waiting for further instructions from IOPC. We respect the decision taken by the jury today,” he said.

Skelton’s family welcomed the investigation’s decision. A family statement read out of court by his sister Tia said: “The jury has confirmed that for all we knew, Louise’s murder was wrong and it was unlawful and she should be with us today.

“There was nothing to suggest that Lewis was aggressive or a threat to anyone that day.

“He was confused and frightened. His last moment must have been one of terror and fear, and it is very difficult for us as a family to know.”

The family criticized reports at the time that Lewis was “a mad ax man” and “an ax wielder”, adding that they “couldn’t be farther from the truth”.

The statement concluded: “What happened to Lewis torn our family apart and broke all our hearts, affecting each of us in a unique and different way.

“Lewis needed help but he was killed. He should never have taken it from us.”

PA. Additional reporting by


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