‘Cop killer’ who was injured ‘when he shot dead Matt Ratana’ still too ill to be questioned

The prime suspect in the fatal shooting of a police officer is still too ill to be questioned by detectives more than six months later.

Louis De Zoysa, 23, allegedly shot Matt Ratana, 54, in the chest while handcuffed at  Croydon Custody Centre, south London, on September 25 last year.

Sergeant Ratana died after being shot in the heart at 2.15am as he was preparing to search the suspect who had been arrested on suspicion of intent to supply drugs and possession of ammunition.  

The 23-year-old, of Norbury, south London, was also hit in the neck by a bullet and was left critically ill and partially paralysed.

He spent five months in a critical condition in St George’s Hospital in Tooting.

In February, it emerged De Zoysa had contracted Covid in hospital and was still too ill to be questioned by detectives in another setback to the investigation.

Louis De Zoysa (pictured in a school photo in 2013), 23, allegedly shot Matt Ratana, 54, in the chest at Croydon police station, London, on September 25 last year

Louis De Zoysa (pictured in a school photo in 2013), 23, allegedly shot Matt Ratana, 54, in the chest at Croydon police station, London, on September 25 last year

Louis De Zoysa (pictured in a school photo in 2013), 23, allegedly shot Matt Ratana, 54, in the chest at Croydon police station, London, on September 25 last year

He is still under arrest for the alleged killing of Sergeant Ratana but a spokesman for the Met Police said the clock had not started on his custody time limit. 

An inquest into the death of Sergeant Ratana, who was from New Zealand, heard the suspect had been stopped by officers on patrol at around 1.30am on September 25. 

Their search of the suspect found drugs and ammunition, and he was arrested for being unlawfully in possession of ammunition and for possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply. 

The suspect was handcuffed with his hands behind his back and taken by police officers to a holding room in the police station to be searched. 

But as Mr Ratana entered the holding room as part of his duties the suspect produced a firearm and discharged the weapon several times.   

Sergeant Ratana died after being shot in the heart at 2.15am as he was preparing to search the handcuffed suspect.   

Police and paramedics treated him at the scene and he was rushed to hospital but pronounced dead at 4.10am.

Following the officer’s death, his girlfriend of five years, Su Bushby, who lived with the officer in Goring, West Sussex, described him as a ‘gentle giant’ who was her ‘soul mate’.   

Sergeant Ratana died after being shot in the heart at 2.15am as he was preparing to search the suspect

Sergeant Ratana died after being shot in the heart at 2.15am as he was preparing to search the suspect

Sergeant Ratana died after being shot in the heart at 2.15am as he was preparing to search the suspect

A police officer lays flowers outside Croydon Custody Centre following the death of Sergeant Ratana

A police officer lays flowers outside Croydon Custody Centre following the death of Sergeant Ratana

A police officer lays flowers outside Croydon Custody Centre following the death of Sergeant Ratana

Flowers are laid outside Croydon Custody Centre in south London after Sergeant Ratana was shot in the chest

Flowers are laid outside Croydon Custody Centre in south London after Sergeant Ratana was shot in the chest

Flowers are laid outside Croydon Custody Centre in south London after Sergeant Ratana was shot in the chest

Paying tribute to him she said: ‘I had the pleasure of sharing five years of my life with this lovely man – my gentle giant, with his infectious smile and big heart. I think of him with tenderness and love.

‘Matt was my partner, friend, confidant, support and soul mate.

‘He will be greatly missed but never forgotten. Matt will always be in my head and in my heart.’

A spokeswoman for the Met Police said: ‘A 23-year-old man remains in police custody. The Police and Criminal Evidence clock has been paused while he receives hospital treatment.’ 

In February, De Zoysa’s parents said he had drawn pictures of what happened in the moments leading up to Sgt Ratana’s death.

While speech problems caused by his injuries meant he had been unable to give his lawyer full details of the events, they revealed he had drawn pictures of what took place.

The first of them was seized by police as part of their inquiry and the second is now in the hands of his legal team.

His mother Elizabeth said: ‘Louis drew a picture of what happened because he’s been very, very anxious about the police presence and the police took it. [The drawing] was unprompted.’ 

The drawing could be used in a trial and also as part of an Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation into the incident. 

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