LONDON: A man has died after being shot by armed officers in southeast London on Tuesday, in a rare fatal police shooting in the UK.
Unlike many forces around the world, British police do not routinely carry guns but can call in specialist firearms units to deal with the most serious incidents.
The Metropolitan Police said the man who died is thought to have been in his 30s and was threatening to harm residents at an address in Surrey Quays, southeast London.
"Local officers attended and attempted to speak to the man but, after being threatened, armed officers were called and quickly attended the scene," a statement read.
"The man had got inside the property, and a police firearm was discharged. Officers and paramedics from the London Ambulance Service immediately provided first aid but sadly the man died at the scene."
Two people were slightly injured in the incident, which happened in the early hours of Tuesday.
The Met said it had referred the incident to the Independent Office for Police Conduct watchdog for an investigation.
Detective Chief Superintendent Seb Adjei-Addoh said armed officers "discharge their weapons very rarely and all officers understand and expect that when they do, their actions will be closely scrutinised".
According to the UK interior ministry, which is responsible for policing, there were 18,395 operations involving firearms units in England and Wales in the 12 months to March 31, 2023.
But there were only 10 incidents in which police firearms were intentionally discharged at people -- up from four the previous year.
According to the charity Inquest, which tracks deaths involving the state, there have been a total of 82 fatal police shootings in England and Wales since 1990.