PD Bryn shot and killed whilst attending a domestic incident on 5th Feb 1998, below is an account of the incident.
PC Ian Churms and his trusty Police Dog Bryn had already dealt with a domestic incident in Northampton when they were called to another job in Irthlingborough on February 5, 1998.
Before they arrived, it was reported that the offender, armed with a knife, had left the area and the weapon had been recovered. But while making plans with two local officers to go to the offender’s flat later that night, screams were heard from the house where a mother and daughter were being held by him. The local officers approached the house, but Ian stopped them, saying it was ‘a job for the dog.’
With the offender pointing a hunting rifle at the mother’s head, Ian tried to talk to him and resolve the situation without anyone getting hurt. But without any warning, he was shot in the leg. Ian decided to send Bryn into the house to bite his attacker but as the dog went in, a split second of confusion caused by the woman’s screams gave the offender the chance to shoot the animal in the head. She ran past him at this point and was also shot.
Recalling that moment, Ian said: “Bryn was dead, I was incapacitated and she was lying on the ground bleeding.” The offender put the barrel of the gun into Ian’s mouth, but luckily the woman’s screams distracted him and he dragged her towards a police van parked in the road, saying he would be back for him. But Ian was determined not to be taken hostage and managed to crawl to a neighbour’s property where they barricaded themselves in.
The offender ended up in the house of a police officer who lived in the same road, and it was here that the offender was overpowered and arrested.