The incident took place early Friday morning at the Croydon Custody Center in south London, the city’s Metropolitan Police Service said.
Fellow officers and paramedics treated the officer at the scene in a police statement. However, he later succumbed to his injuries at the hospital.
A 23-year-old man was detained at the scene, police said. He is in critical condition at the hospital. The Metropolitan Police Service has launched an investigation into the murder.
The fatal shooting of a police officer is an unusual occurrence in the United Kingdom, where police do not regularly carry a gun.
No police weapons were released during the incident, the police statement said.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said, “This is a truly shocking incident in which one of our comrades lost his life in very tragic circumstances. My heart goes out to his family, direct comrades and friends.”
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the country has a “huge debt” on police officers who risk their lives to keep the community safe.
“I am deeply saddened by the family, friends and colleagues of the police officer who was killed in Croydon last night,” he said on Twitter. “We owe a great debt to those who risk their lives to keep us safe.”
UK Home Secretary Preeti Patel said she was shocked and saddened by the news. “My thoughts today are with his family, friends and colleagues in policing in London and across the country,” he said in a statement.
Patel said he expressed sympathy for Dick and offered whatever support was needed as the shooting was being investigated.
“This is a tragic day for our country and another horrific reminder of how our police officers are endangered every day to keep the rest of us safe,” he said.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he was “devastated” by the shooting.
“My heart goes out to the family of this brave officer who paid the ultimate price to help keep Londoners safe. Such tragic incidents remind our police officers of the dangers every day. ”
“My thoughts are also with the entire Metropolitan Police family, whom I know will deeply mourn their comrades at this extremely difficult time. I will be in close contact with the Commissioner to support them and our MAT officers and staff.”
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