Police in the United Kingdom have said that a Nigerian-born footballer, Odichukumma Kelvin Igweani, was gunned down after killing a neighbour.
UK-based newspapers, DailyMail and TheSUN quoted the police as alleging that the 24-year-old Nigerian also held a toddler captive.
The police said Richard Woodcock, a 38-year-old council highways officer had raced to help after hearing screams during a domestic dispute at the first-floor property when he was killed by the footballer.
The security agency also claimed that Woodcock’s body was found on the floor of Igweani’s flat in Milton Keynes, Bucks.
David Bannister from The Independent Office for Police Conduct told Milton Keynes Coroner’s Court that the young footballer was shot four times and a taser was also discharged.
Igweani, known as Kelvin, was pronounced dead at the scene and Mr Woodcock died of head injuries.
“The toddler remains in a life-threatening condition in hospital,” the IOPC said today.
Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Blaik told a linked inquest into both deaths that officers had been called by neighbours to an “ongoing disturbance” at about 9.40 am on Saturday, June 26.
He said, “Neighbours reported hearing a female screaming and shouting for help. A female and young child managed to flee the address prior to police arrival.
“Richard Woodcock from the neighbouring property had gone to the address to help save a young boy as it was believed he was still in the property and at risk of significant harm.”
He added: “Having had to force entry, the officers immediately saw a deceased male, who has now been identified as Richard Woodcock, on the floor and were also aware of a distressed young child within the address.”
DCI Blaik told the brief hearing, attended by Richard’s widow and family members: “As entry was gained another male, now known to be Kelvin Igweani, immediately became aggressive towards the officers.
“A Taser was discharged but this was ineffective, and Igweani barricaded himself within the main bedroom.
“A child could be heard crying along with sounds of an ongoing assault. Entry was gained to the bedroom at which point a police firearm was discharged.
“Police officers and ambulance staff gave immediate first aid but Kelvin Igweani was declared deceased at 10.33hrs.”
A postmortem examination performed by Dr Lockyer showed that Mr Woodcock died from traumatic head injuries. DCI Blaik added that Kelvin Igweani was suspected of his murder and the serious assault of the young male child within the address.
“It is understood that Kelvin’s mental health had been deteriorating in the weeks preceding this incident,” he said.
The sportsman’s devastated parents were in court, accompanied by a lawyer, to hear how their son was slain by officers in his home in Milton Keynes, Bucks, on Saturday morning.
Mr Bannister told how police had been called to a “domestic incident” at about 9.40am on June 26 at a block of flats in Denmead, Two Mile Ash, on the outskirts of the town.
He said, “Thames Valle Police received a 999 call after reports of a domestic incident. A double armed auto response was deployed to the scene.
“On their way they were informed that another male was injured and a child was at risk.
“Officers forced entry and they immediately came across a deceased male. They were confronted by Mr Igweani. A taser was deployed but it was ineffective.
“Mr Igweani moved into another room and closed the door. He was in the room with a young child. Officers believed Mr igweani was harming the child and forced entry.
“One officer fired four shots at him and a taser was also discharged. He was pronounced dead at 10.39.”
Igweani died from gunshot wounds to the chest. His body was formally identified by his family.
In a statement, his family said, “We have always been so proud of Richard and everything that he has achieved in life.
“We are devastated that Richard has been taken from us in such circumstances but we are also so immensely proud of the sacrifice that he has made to try and save a little boy’s life.
“His actions on Saturday morning were the type of man he was and that is how we would like him remembered.
“A lot of people loved Richard, probably more than he ever realised, and he will be a huge loss to all of his friends, family and work colleagues.”
His wife, who has not been named, said, “Richard, it has been a blessing to share my life with you, my dearest friend, my biggest love, my soul mate. My kind, generous, funny, clever, cheeky husband.
“Thank you for loving me and being the best father to our children. I’ll love you and cherish our time together forever.”