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Police officers hold breakfast in honour of colleague shot dead as suspect arrested

George Martin
·3-min read
Sgt Ratana was shot dead in the early hours of Friday. (Twitter)
Sgt Ratana was shot dead in the early hours of Friday. (Twitter)

Police officers have paid tribute to an officer who was shot dead in Croydon on Friday by holding a breakfast in his honour.

Sergeant Matt Ratana was shot by a handcuffed suspect in the early hours of Friday at a custody suite in Croydon.

One of his colleagues who worked at the same station posted a picture of the feast on Twitter on Sunday morning.

“Covering #SgtMattRatana today,” he tweeted.

“He’d have been day shift with us. I was gonna repay him for breakfast he got me last week... after he tackled me in the suite and said ‘Come on XL, bring it in, you need a custody cuddle!’”

It comes as a man has been arrested in connection with the investigation into Sgt Ratana’s death, as tributes were paid to the "extraordinary" officer.

Read more: Police ‘painstakingly’ searching four crime scenes in probe into shot officer

He was arrested in the early hours of Sunday in Norwich, Norfolk, on suspicion of supplying a firearm.

The suspect for the shooting remains in a critical condition in hospital and police said they have not yet been able to speak to him.

Sgt Ratana, 54, was also remembered by friends and teammates at East Grinstead Rugby Club on Sunday where he was head coach.

CROYDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 27: A Police officer comforts a colleague while paying tribute to Sergeant Matiu Ratana outside Croydon Custody Centre on September 27, 2020 in Croydon, England. Metropolitan Police Custody sergeant Matiu Ratana, 54, was shot dead in the early hours of Friday 25 September At Croydon Custody Suite. A handcuffed man being checked in by Sgt Ratana opened fire before turning the weapon on himself. Sgt Ratana died later in hospital. (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images)
A police officer comforts a colleague while paying tribute to Sgt Ratana outside Croydon Custody Centre. (Getty)

Multiple tributes were laid outside the clubhouse and two periods of silence – for junior and senior club members – were held on Sunday morning in his memory.

The club flag was flown alongside the New Zealand flag and the All Blacks rugby team flag to honour Sgt Ratana's roots.

Ryan Morlen, 31, assistant head coach at EGRFC, said that the news would "take time to process" but the close-knit club had pulled together.

"It's tough really with the loss of Matt, he's an irreplaceable figure," he said.

"The club here, from juniors, seniors, to the women's team, they're going to really miss Matt. It's going to take time to process.

"As a community he brought a lot of things together. I spoke to Matt every single day... and there are thousands of people out there that really looked up to him.

"As a community we're unbelievably close and the minute we found out the news we pulled together and that's the type of club East Grinstead is.

"Nothing is enough to show how much we loved that guy and how much of a role model he was to many, and he really was."

Also on Sunday, Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick paid tribute to him as an "extraordinary person" who was "very good at his job".