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Tragic cop was set for 5th award; CRIME: Shot PC's glittering record revealed.

Byline: By Gary Marks

A MIDLAND police officer who was shot dead while responding to a domestic incident in Shrewsbury was due to collect his fifth commendation from the force later this year.

PC Richard Gray's glittering police record was revealed as tributes were paid to the father-of-two who was gunned down in the Castlefields area at 6.10am on Sunday.

The firearms officer, who was known as Ricky and joined West Mercia Police in 2003, was set to receive the force's highest honour, the Chief Constable's Certificate of Commendation, for arresting a violent gunman in Shrewsbury in April 2006.

Four months later he married long-term partner Jenny, in a romantic ceremony in Venice.

The couple had been together for 16 years and PC Gray had two grown-up sons from a previous marriage.

Chief Constable Paul West today described PC Gray as "an excellent officer" who was popular with his colleagues.

He said: "All his colleagues, both police officers and police staff, are devastated by his death.

"In Ricky's four years with us his bravery, determination and professionalism as a police officer saw him recognised with a total of five commendations, two from his divisional commander, two from me, and a judge's commendation.

"In itself that speaks volumes for the sort of man he was and his dedication and commitment."

PC Gray was commended for rescuing a man who was trying to jump into the River Severn from Shrewsbury's English Bridge.

He was also praised for his professionalism, decisionmaking and teamwork after rescuing two women from the same river last July.

Rat-catcher Peter Medlicott, 33, is believed to have shot PC Gray with a .222 calibre rifle he used for pest control before turning the gun on himself.

Medlicott has been described as a loner who enjoyed shooting and fishing.

Witnesses said he was ordered out of the Plough pub, near his home in the Castlefields area at about midnight on Saturday.

Residents said he was seen later on the roof of a garden shed throwing stones at the windows of his flat.

Both men died from single gunshot wounds to the head.

OUR SAY: PAGE 12

CAPTION(S):

HERO... PC Richard Gray, and (left) his killer Peter Medlicott
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:May 8, 2007
Words:369
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