An armed police officer fired his weapon whilst on duty outside the US embassy in London on Friday.
A witness said: “All hell broke loose. There was a massive bang and everyone thought it was a terrorist attack. People were throwing themselves on the ground and police cars came screaming into the area."
Embassy staff called 999 after they heard the Diplomatic Protection Squad officer's Heckler & Koch MP5 sub-machine gun fire. The officer has been suspended from firearms duties while an internal inquiry is carried out, however he'll continue to do other duties.
Scotland Yard refused to comment on claims that diplomatic officers have been put under pressure by a new 12-hour shift pattern.
However Met sources put the blame squarely on the new shifts:
One said: “The boys are on duty from 8am to 8pm. The guvnors have been warned something would happen. It was lucky nobody was killed.”
After the recent Met shootings of innocent men Harry Stanley in Hackney and Jean Charles de Menezes in Brixton, this sadly doesn't come as a surprise.