‘Cop killer’ has Covid: Suspect, 23, alleged to have shot dead police sergeant Matt Ratana is ‘seriously ill’ with virus in hospital
- Louis De Zoysa allegedly shot Matt Ratana, 54, at Croydon custody centre
- Speech problems stopped De Zoysa giving full details of what had happened
- His parents said he has drawn pictures of what took place on September 25
- De Zoysa is now believed to be ‘seriously ill’ with coronavirus in hospital
The prime suspect in the fatal shooting of a police officer is ‘seriously ill’ with coronavirus in hospital.
Louis De Zoysa allegedly shot Matt Ratana, 54, on September 25 last year while handcuffed in a cell at Croydon custody centre in South London.
The 23-year-old was also hit in the neck by a bullet and remains under police guard in hospital.
Lats night it emerged he is now suffering from Covid, in another setback to the investigation over the shooting.
De Zoysa spent five months in a critical condition in St George’s Hospital, Tooting, after firing a bullet into his neck while grappling with police officers in the moments after Sgt Ratana’s fatal shooting.
Louis De Zoysa (pictured in a school photo in 2013) was arrested on suspicion of murder seven weeks after the shooting but has not been charged. Police are waiting for him to be declared fit by doctors before they interview him
It comes after De Zoysa’s parents said he had drawn pictures of what happened in the moments leading up to Sgt Ratana’s death.
Speech problems caused by his injuries meant he had been unable to give his lawyer full details of the events.
But they revealed he has drawn pictures of what took place – the first of them seized by police as part of their inquiry and the second now in the hands of his legal team.
His mother Elizabeth said: ‘Louis drew a picture of what happened because he’s been very, very anxious about the police presence and the police took it. [The drawing] was unprompted.’
De Zoysa was arrested on suspicion of murder seven weeks after the shooting but has not been charged. Police are waiting for him to be declared fit by doctors before they interview him.
The drawing could be used in a trial but also as part of an Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation into the incident.
De Zoysa allegedly shot Matt Ratana (pictured) on September 25 last year while handcuffed in a cell at Croydon custody centre in South London. The 23-year-old was also hit in the neck by a bullet and remains under police guard in hospital
One key question is how De Zoysa apparently managed to hide a weapon from officers during and after his arrest.
Mrs De Zoysa does not think her son, who is autistic, is well enough to be interrogated and says an appropriate adult should have been present when officers took the drawing from him in December.
‘Louis has slow processing and poor organisation skills,’ she said. ‘He’s very, very intelligent but he can’t put two and two together.’
Her son, who works for HM Revenue & Customs, was arrested on suspicion of possessing ammunition and intent to supply Class B drugs near his parents’ home in Norbury, South London, at 1.30am on September 25. His family are pressing the IOPC for more information about what then happened.
His mother clings to the hope that the gun was fired accidentally in a struggle.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said officers were liaising with medical staff to make an assessment of when De Zoysa would be fit to interview. The IOPC said it would be inappropriate to comment while the investigation was ongoing.