Pictured, firearms officer who shot himself inside Glasgow police station: Force launch probe into tragic death

A firearms officer died yesterday after shooting  himself in an apparent suicide at a city police station.

Constable Rod Gellatly had ‘turned the gun on himself’ after arriving at work as normal yesterday morning.

Police refused to give any further detail but admitted officers were not looking for anyone else in connection with the 41-year-old’s death.

The incident happened at Baird Street police station in Glasgow – the Strathclyde Police base for firearms specialists, generally of constable or sergeant rank.

There were unconfirmed reports yesterday that PC  Gellatly had shot himself in the station’s toilets. It is understood he came to work, took a weapon and ammunition from the armoury and was later found dead by colleagues.

An ambulance was called around 11am but later left with no casualty on board.

The tragedy is certain to raise  questions over the vetting of firearms officers who have to undergo strict psychological assessment before being allowed to carry a weapon.

The average percentage of officers with firearms training across Scotland is around four per cent – currently around 700 out of 17,436 officers.

Lothian and Borders Police was called in immediately as an independent force to investigate, while a report was sent to the procurator fiscal.

An independent probe by another force is also standard practice in cases where an officer is killed in a firearms incident.

In a statement, Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins of  Strathclyde Police said: ‘It is with great sadness I have to tell you that a serving Strathclyde Police officer died today in an incident where a firearm was discharged at Baird Street Police Office.

‘Our thoughts are with the  officer’s family and friends at this difficult time.’

PC Gellatly is understood to have been married and lived on the south side of Glasgow.

He served previously in the Fleet Air Arm as a Petty Officer based in the South of England between 1989 and 2002.

Cordoned off: Officers stand outside a Strathclyde police station in Baird Street, Glasgow, where an officer died after a gun was fired Cordoned off: Officers stand outside a Strathclyde police station in Baird Street, Glasgow, where an officer died after a gun was fired
Emergency: Officers called for an ambulance at 11am today, which attended the scene at Baird Street Police Station and left shortly before 2pmEmergency: Officers called for an ambulance at 11am today, which attended the scene at Baird Street Police Station and left shortly before 2pm

But in recent years he had been living in the Glasgow area and serving as a policeman in Strathclyde, including spells in Wishaw and Shotts.

Police are issued with a range of firearms which vary between different forces but include Heckler & Koch rifles and semi-automatic carbines and pistols, while some forces use shotguns.

Brian Docherty, chairman of the Scottish Police Federation, said: ‘We can confirm that one of our colleagues has died following a firearms incident in Baird Street police station this morning.

‘It is too early to speculate as to the circumstances surrounding the tragic death and our thoughts turn immediately to his family who have lost their loved one and colleagues who have lost a friend.’

Labour MSP Graeme Pearson, the former head of the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency, said: ‘It is a dreadful tragedy for the officer, his family, his friends and a terrible loss to the wider police service.

‘I know Strathclyde Police will support those affected with the level of professionalism one expects in the circumstances.

Fellow officers today paid tribute to the policeman who died
Fellow officers today paid tribute to the policeman who died

‘A lost friend’: Fellow officers today paid tribute to the policeman who hasn’t been named

James McIvor, 37, of nearby Pinkston Road, added: ‘It was a bit of a mystery at the start of the day then we found that a police officer was killed.

‘The fact a gun was involved makes it even more horrifying. It is a big shock for it to happen, especially in the middle of a police station.’

Scaffolder Neil McCuaigs, 38, was working nearby at the time and said police dogs could be heard barking aggressively.

He said: ‘I knew something  terrible had happened straight away.’

Last night Gary Gray, 39, came to lay a poppy cross at the station with his son Bobby, eight, to ‘show respect’.

He said: ‘I heard what had happened on the radio so I came down to show my respect. I think sometimes the police are not given the credit they deserve for the help they give us.

‘They are here to help, they do a difficult job and I think we should show our appreciation – not just for this victim but for them all.’

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This entry was posted on Úterý, Listopad 6th, 2012 at 9:14 and is filed under Ostatní. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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