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Shot PC honoured five times for bravery on duty.

A FORMER Cheshire policeman shot dead at the scene of a domestic argument had been commended five times for bravery, it emerged last night.

PC Richard Gray, 43, a married father-of-two, trained to become a firearms officer with Cheshire Constabulary after joining the force as a PC in 1997.

PC Gray, who patrolled Warrington, was killed while attending a domestic dispute in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, on Sunday.

Last night, a spokesman for Cheshire Police said: "PC Gray will be sadly missed by all who knewhim and worked alongside him in the Cheshire Force."

PC Gray left Cheshire and joined the West Mercia force in 2003 to return to the area where he had been brought up.

West Mercia Chief Constable Paul West said that the Dundee-born officer had previously won recognition for his part in the arrests of two armed men.

Mr West said PC Gray was a popular officer who would be sorely missed, and added that the fact he had been recommended for five commendations spoke volumes about his character.

The suspected gunman, reported to be a former gamekeeper in his 30s, was found dead at the scene close to his flat and a weapon was recovered. It is believed that he shot himself after firing fatal shots at PC Gray.

The force said a police armed response unit was called to attend a domestic incident at 6.10am on Sunday.

Detective Chief Inspector Sheila Thornes, who is heading the investigation, said the constable's weapon had not been fired.

She said: "The ammunition allocated to the officer is all accounted for, and there is no evidence of police weapons being discharged."

She said police were not looking for anyone else in connection with the shooting.

PC Gray, known as Ricky, married his long-term partner last year, and last night Mr West told a news conference the police officer's family was "understandably devastated".

He said: "PC Gray was an excellent officer. He was very popular with his colleagues, extremely wellliked and held in the highest regard.

"The fact that he had been recommended for five commendations spoke volumes about his character."

PC Gray received a divisional commendation for rescuing a man trying to jump from the English Bridge in Shrewsbury into the River Severn.

He also received a chief constable's commendation for his part in the arrest of an "unstable" man with a firearm.

He was also recognised for his part in arresting a violent man with a semiautomatic pistol who tried to escape police in a stopcheck in April, 2006, in Shrewsbury.

CAPTION(S):

PC Richard Gray with the commendation certificate he received last October for helping rescue two women from the River Severn, at Shrewsbury
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:May 8, 2007
Words:447
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