Crossbow stalker swung a sword at Met Police before he was shot dead in South London

By Staff

A convicted stalker swung a sword at officers then took aim at armed police with a crossbow before he was shot dead in South London, the police watchdog says. Bryce Hodgson, 30, was killed after trying to force entry into a house at Bywater Place, Surrey Quays, Southwark, armed with weapons and tools – including three crossbows – at around 5am on January 30 this year.

Hodgson was previously given a 16-week suspended prison sentence in June 2023 for stalking a 31-year-old woman who lived at the property and was subject to a five-year restraining order which banned him from entering the road where he was shot.

On Thursday, March 14, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said it had reviewed body-worn footage, officer witness statements, 999 calls, and radio communications. It said Hodson had entered the house from the back door and was trying to gain entry to a bedroom where the residents had barricaded themselves in.

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When response officers arrived and forced entry via the front door, Hodgson was trying to break through an internal door using a sword. He was told to ‘show his hands’ by officers who pointed a Taser at him, but he failed to comply and swung a sword at them. The taser was not discharged and the officers withdrew and called for back up.

Armed police arrived and entered the house at 5.15am, where, instead of complying with instructions, Hodgson picked up a crossbow and pointed it an officer. The IOPC says this account is supported by body-worn footage. An armed cop then fired two shots, hitting Hodgson in the neck and chest. Police secured the weapons, began first aid and called an ambulance but Hodgson died at 5.37am.

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‘Immediate and serious threat’

The IOPC says the evidence will be given to the coroner to assist with the inquest, which will determine how Hodgson died. The probe, which is expected to conclude in the summer, is also looking at any contact police had with Hodgson after his stalking conviction. The watchdog is still waiting for a full report from the pathologist. Hodgson’s family are getting regular updates.

IOPC Regional Director Mel Palmer said: “I send my condolences to the family and friends of Bryce Hodgson and all those present or affected by this tragic incident, including the occupants of the property and officers involved.

“The evidence gathered to date supports the officers’ accounts that they perceived there to be an immediate and serious threat to the occupants inside the house. The officers, who were presented with a dynamic situation, acted swiftly to gain entry into the house to prevent any further harm to the residents.”

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