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MAN WITH UNLOADED GUN KILLED BY POLICE; Street showdown after he threatened ex with knife.

Byline: STEVE McCOMISH

A JILTED boyfriend brandishing an unloaded gun was shot dead by police yesterday outside his ex-lover's house.

Student Steven Dickson, 30, had gone to the home of Janet Blurton in the early hours.

She called police to say he was threatening her with a knife.

Two officers went to the house at 1am and decided not to arrest Dickson, who left the scene peacefully.

The police pair kept vigil and 40 minutes later Dickson returned carrying what they thought was a shotgun.

He threatened the officers, causing them to retreat and radio for back-up.

Two armed response units went to the scene in Whitegates in the Derbyshire village of Codnor.

Trevor Smith, 49, watched from his bedroom window across the narrow street.

He said: "It was totally unreal. Two armed police officers were on the street, and one with an Alsatian dog.

"One went across the road and was hiding behind a wall, pointing his gun up Whitegates.

"The chap was walking down the road towards the police officer with what looked like a sawn-off shotgun in his hand. The policeman was shouting, 'Armed police, put your gun down'. He lifted the gun up to his shoulder as if going to fire, then I heard a shot.

"He went down like a ton of bricks. Three police officers ran up to him, but he wasn't moving." Dickson, thought to be studying part-time at Derby University, was hit in the chest by a single shot and died in hospital at about 3am. The Police Complaints Authority is investigating.

The scene was cordoned off for forensic inquiries. It was found that the weapon, made from parts of at least two shotguns, was not loaded. Mr Dickson, who now lives two streets away, shared the house with Miss Blurton. It is for sale at pounds 29,000.

Neighbour Irene Burgin, 76, said: "He was a lovely lad. They seemed so happy. Janet is from Derby and they met when Steven was studying there."

They parted recently, but Mrs Burgin did not know why. Resident Les Goodwin said: "He was as quiet as a mouse." Deputy chief constable Bob Wood said: "They challenged him and he did not respond.

"Regrettably, it was necessary for the officers to shoot that person, fearing for their own safety and the safety of the person in the house."

CAPTION(S):

INQUIRIES: Police at the death-spot yesterday; SCENE: Sealed-off street
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 2, 2001
Words:404
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