Police seek film of seven-hour siege that led to tragedy

OFFICERS leading an independent investigation into the death of a 42-year-old man who was shot after a seven-hour siege with police in a Yorkshire village are appealing for witnesses who may have filmed or photographed the incident.

Alistair Bell died after being shot by a West Yorkshire Police firearms officer at a house in Kirkheaton, near Huddersfield, in the early hours of Tuesday.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is looking for residents in the West Yorkshire village who have captured images of the events leading up to Bell's death.

Police had been responding to a 999 call, which they received at around 6pm on Monday, alleging that Bell had made threats to a married couple.

The gunman shot an unarmed 29-year-old policeman, who escaped with bruising to his lower back when the bullet lodged in his body armour, after officers had visited Bell's home in Cockley Hill Lane at around 10pm to arrest him.

Firearms officers were then called out and the area was secured before negotiations with Bell started.

However he was shot dead by a police officer at 5.30am the following day.

Now the IPCC, which is investigating Bell's death, is appealing for witnesses to come forward.

An IPCC spokesman said they were particularly keen to speak to "anybody who may have filmed or taken photographs of the unfolding incident".

Anyone with information can contact the IPCC on 0800 096 9076 or get in touch by email at kirkheaton.investigation@ipcc.gsi.gov.uk.

A new photograph of Bell has also been released by the IPCC.

Forensic tests were delayed at Bell's home because of fears that the premises may have contained explosives.

A 9mm self-loading pistol was recovered from his house by police after he was shot dead.

The IPCC inquiry into the incident is expected to take up to six months.

Bell was jailed for nine-and-a-half years in 1997 for his part in a ruthless drugs business.

Several floral tributes have been laid outside the property in Kirkheaton. A message, signed by Bell's family, read: "Our love and thoughts will always be with you.

"Never forgotten, Sis, Mum and Dad".

Others referred to Bell as a "truly nice bloke", "loveable rogue" and "true gent".