Anthony Grainger firearms officer met officer who killed Mark Duggan

Josh Halliday North of England correspondent
Anthony Grainger was shot through the chest by an officer referred to as Q9 as he sat in a stolen red Audi in the village of Culcheth, Cheshire. Photograph: IPCC/PA

A firearms officer who fatally shot an unarmed man met the police officer who shot Mark Duggan before making his first detailed statement, a public inquiry has heard.

The previously undisclosed meeting took place five days after the fatal shooting of Anthony Grainger, 35, in a car park in Cheshire in March 2012.

An inquiry into the death of Grainger heard on Wednesday that V53, the officer who shot Duggan, 29, in August 2011, travelled to Manchester to “offer support” to the firearms officers – a day before they had given their full account of what happened.

Grainger was shot through the chest by an officer referred to as Q9 as he sat in a stolen red Audi in the village of Culcheth, Cheshire on 3 March 2012. Detectives believed he and two others were planning to hold up a supermarket and had access to firearms but no gun was ever found.

An officer, referred to as W9 to protect his identity, told the court that on 8 March there had been a meeting with Mark Williams, from the Police Firearms Officers Association (PFOA), an officer from the Metropolitan police firearms branch, and V53 – the officer who fatally shot Duggan in Tottenham, north London in August 2011.

W9 said he and other firearms officers involved in Operation Shire – the investigation that led to Grainger’s death – attended the meeting, which he said was held to discuss their welfare and post-incident procedure.

Asked about the purpose of the meeting, W9 replied: “Because he had been through similar circumstances down there. Police shootings are fortunately very very rare in this country.

“It’s just to support from the PFOA [Police Firearms Officers Association] for my colleague who’s had to fire … Just to offer support from his experience.”

W9 was asked whether Q9 and V53 went for a private meeting but said he could not recall.

Leslie Thomas QC, representing Grainger’s family, said: “Did you not think to yourself, when V53 – the man who shot Mark Duggan – came up to Manchester and came into a meeting with all the firearms officers in this case, did you not think ‘good grief, that’s a bit odd’?”

W9 said: “No, because we’d not been in that situation before.” He added: “He’s saying what’s happened to him, he’s not giving, or he wasn’t giving me, advice. He wasn’t telling me what to put in my statement.”

The inquiry, before judge Thomas Teague QC, heard that the firearms officers “expressed frustration” that it took six days for them to give a full statement into the fatal shooting.

The 16 officers who eventually wrote their first accounts on 9 March sat together in the same room, the inquiry heard.

A flip board at the front of the room showed a rough timeline of the incident and contained an incorrect version of the stolen Audi’s vehicle registration plate, the judge was told.

Q9, a serving police officer, said he had joined the force in 1991 and had been an authorised firearms officer for six years at the time of Grainger’s death.

Q9’s evidence is due to continue on Thursday.