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By Martin Robinson for MailOnline and Andrew Levy and Emily Kent Smith and Vanessa Allen for the Daily Mail
Published: 06:29 GMT, 22 October 2015 | Updated: 00:13 GMT, 23 October 2015
- Richard Davies, 41, named by friends as man killed in St Neots last night
- Engineer from St Neots who was married to Samantha with three children
- Police called at 7.45pm over domestic row and shot victim in the chest
- Neighbours dialled 999 after row in street and a shoot-out then followed
- Cambridgeshire Police has referred itself to police watchdog after shooting
Police have shot dead a father-of-three who boasted of ‘having the best wife ever’ after he allegedly fired on officers during a row at home.
The victim, named locally as Richard Davies, 41, was shot in the chest and died in an armed stand-off outside his three-bedroom home in Duck Lane, St Neots yesterday just minutes after he had chatted happily with the owner of a local convenience store.
Mr Davies, who lived with wife Samantha and their three young children, was killed at 8pm after Cambridgeshire Police were called by neighbours concerned for people inside the house.
One witness said: ‘I heard two bangs, then police shouting, then another bigger bang. It sounded like there may have been a shoot-out with the police.’
Tragedy: Police are understood to have shot dead engineer Richard Davies, 41, pictured with his wife Samantha, after they were called to a domestic row where his family were thought to be in danger
Shooting: A white forensics tent stands outside a house where a man, believed to be Richard Davies, 41, was shot dead by police last night in Duck Lane, St Neots (pictured)
Tribute: Mr Davies’ Facebook page is full of praise for his wife Samantha but police were called last night amid fears for his family’s safety
A white forensics tent stands outside a terraced property on the street today, suggesting he may have been killed in the front garden.
Other neighbours claimed Mr Davies was yelling at police from a window and a team of officers with Heckler and Koch machine guns then broke in and shot him inside.
Witnesses described hearing an argument in their road before the armed stand-off with police where several ‘loud bangs’ rang out.
Shooting: Richard Davies, 41, pictured with his wife, is believed to have been shot in the chest and died in Duck Lane, St Neots, last night after a row at home
Friends said today that Mr Davies was part of a ‘normal and nice family’.
He worked for a branch of Germany company Bosch Rexroth in St Neots and previously studied at Huntingdon Technical College.
Sohan Tumber, who owns a Londis store near Mr Davies’ home, said: ‘He came in at about 7.30pm and bought four cans of lager.
‘He was in good spirits and chatting normally, asking how I was. Nothing seemed wrong.
‘He said his missus was going out and he had already bought some beers but he had left them outside his house and someone had taken them so he was getting some more.
‘He was a lovely guy. He came in most evenings and was very friendly to us. I have no idea what could have happened.’
Mr Tumber’s son Davinder, 43, said Mr Davies had suffered from cancer, possibly of the stomach, and had taken time off work as a hydraulic repair fitter at a local company but was in remission.
A friend of Mrs Davies, who asked not to be named, said he had undergone a series of operations in 2012.
‘It was very hard on the family … but it seemed like they had come back from it,’ the friend added.
Steven Albone, a friend of the couple, said Mr Davies had been on medication for depression but there appeared to be no problems at home. Friends described Mr Davies as a ‘family man’ who had a loving relationship with his wife Samantha, 35, and adored his two sons and daughter, who are aged between nine and 17.
Posts on his Facebook page show pictures of him together with his wife and his three children. In one he states: ‘Richard Davies has the best wife ever ‘FACT!” and Samantha Davies replied: ‘yes… yes you have! xxx’.
In 2010 he wrote a message on mother’s day thanking ‘my lovely wife sam who is a great mum and great wife’.
Mr Davies was also a big Tottenham Hotspur fan.
Wife Samantha, who is studying social work at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, describes herself on her Facebook page as: ‘Full time mum at The Mad House.’
Mr Davies’ mum Gill, who lives in nearby Brampton, shared a Wing’s of Hope Living Forward photo on social last night, talking about grieving for a lost child.
Chaos: Neighbours described hearing two loud bangs – with one claiming the dead man may have shot at officers
Today friends and family had left messages of condolence on her Facebook page, with one writing: ‘Love to you and your whole family.’
Friend Gary Britton wrote on his Facebook site: ‘Totally shocked!!’
A Cambridgeshire Police spokesman confirmed that officers were called by neighbours at around 7.45pm because of ‘concern for people’ in the house.
The spokesman said that the man was shot dead by a firearms officer around 15 minutes later at 8pm. Nobody else was injured in the incident.
A friend, who did not want to be named, said Mr Davies had been off work before the incident.
Speaking at the scene, she said: ‘Can’t believe it, I’ve lost another friend.
‘He got shot last night Richard Davies. Police shot him.
‘It’s sad isn’t it, it’s absolutely heartbreaking. It was him, he’s been off work. ‘
A spokesman for Bosch Rexroth said today: ‘Bosch Rexroth is saddened by this news. As this is an ongoing investigation, Bosch Rexroth will make no further comment at this time.
‘All matters relating to this incident should be forwarded to the Cambridgeshire police.’
Victim: A friend said Mr Davies, pictured left and right, had been away from work and confirmed he had been shot and killed by police
Last night around 20 officers were seen swarming the area before the shooting and the man died at the scene.
A nearby neighbour watched the drama unfold from his upstairs back window after his dogs alerted him to the commotion.
Gordon Woodend, 62, said: ‘There was a lot of commotion going on and there were lights flashing.
‘So I went out and got the dogs and I heard two shots. I got the dogs in and went upstairs and looked out my back window and then I saw police going in with machine guns into the house. I think there were about six of them.
‘There were shots from outside before the police went in and then police were shouting really loud before they broke the door down to get in.
‘I never heard any shots inside the house.’
The retired fabricator welder added: ‘It took police about five minutes to break the door down I think. The paramedics were in there for ages’.
A resident who did not want to be named said: ‘We had never seen any trouble at that house before – it’s not like some where the police are out all the time.
‘But there was definitely some kind of row last night. We heard shouting for a few minutes then it seemed to die down.’
One woman, who knew the family who lived at the terraced house, said that a man and woman with three teenage children lived there.
She added: ‘Our kids used to play with their’s, they were a nice family. They just seemed like a nice, normal family so I can’t think what happened. It’s terrible.’
Mary Bath, 65, said her husband rushed outside after hearing the commotion but police told him to go back inside for his own safety.
She added: ‘I knew the couple from seeing them around and they seemed nice.
‘We heard the bangs and joked it sounded like gunfire. Suddenly there were police everywhere and we realised it was serious.
‘It’s an awful thing to happen and we’re all very upset.’
A mother-of-three who lived close to the scene of the shooting claimed she heard two shots being fired.
Ring of steel: Police have cordoned off the street as they investigate what happened, with at least ten officers guarding the area today.
Crime scene: Dawn breaks on the cordoned off St Neots street where the father of three was shot after police were called to a domestic inciden
Neighbour, Anne Barrett, 69, added: ‘I heard a noise. I didn’t know what it was. I had the TV turned up and I heard this noise. It was like the sound of a firework.
‘You hear it on the news but you never expect it on your doorstep. It’s quite scary. It’s frightening isn’t it this gun culture.’
Jo Bull, who lives on a neighbouring street said: ‘You don’t expect this at the bottom of your road.’
Cambridgeshire Police has referred itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission after the shooting and the officers involved are getting support.
Police have cordoned off the street as they investigate what happened, with at least ten officers guarding the area.
Armed officers were called over concerns for people inside a property at 7.45pm on Wednesday.
Firearms officers then shot the man dead just after 8pm, the force said.
A spokesman added: ‘The man died at the scene. No one else was injured in the incident.’
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is investigating the incident.
A spokesman said the commission was contacted by Cambridgeshire Police on Wednesday night and declared an independent investigation at about 9.30pm.
He added: ‘The man’s next of kin have been informed of his death and the area will remain cordoned off for some time whilst IPCC investigators undertake the scene management process.
‘The investigation is in the very early stages and we are unable to provide further details at this time.’