Man-hunted British gunman found dead

2012-07-10 17:45

London - A British gunman wanted for the murder of an off-duty police officer has been found dead in a village churchyard, police said on Tuesday.

Hundreds of officers launched a manhunt for Peter Reeve, 64, after police constable Ian Dibell was shot dead as he intervened in a dispute in the seaside town of Clacton, southeast England, on Monday.

Essex chief constable Jim Barker-McCardle told reporters: "I can confirm Peter Reeve, the man wanted for the murder of a serving police officer, was found dead with a weapon in a Writtle churchyard.

"No shots were fired by the police."

Writtle is a village near Clacton.

McCardle earlier said that indications were that Dibell, 41, had been killed after intervening in an "extremely deadly situation".

His family called him a "hero" and said he had paid for his actions "in the most devastating way".

Another man had sustained gunshot wounds to the leg after a handgun was fired.

The public had been warned not to approach Reeve as he was believed to be still armed and dangerous.

He was "largely unknown" to police and did not have a firearms licence.

Barker-McCardle said a number of lines of inquiry were being pursued as to the motive in the shooting, adding: "There must have been some sort of catalyst that prompted the scale of a tragedy of this kind."