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Pc murder: Hunted man found dead
A man wanted for murder after a police officer was fatally shot has been found dead in a churchyard, police said.
Essex Police had launched a major manhunt and warned members of the public to stay indoors after Peter Reeve, 64, ran amok in a residential street in the seaside town of Clacton, Essex, on Monday afternoon.
Pc Ian Dibell - dubbed a hero by colleagues - was killed, while another man, named locally as 48-year-old Trevor Marshall, was injured in the double shooting with a handgun.
Chief Constable Jim Barker-McCardle said Pc Dibell, who lived near the crime scene in Redbridge Road, had "paid the ultimate price" after stepping in to protect a member of the public while off-duty.
He added: "I can confirm Peter Reeve, the man wanted for the murder of a serving police officer, was found dead, with a weapon in a Writtle churchyard and no shots were fired by the police."
Mr Barker-McCardle said inquiries are ongoing into the motive for the attack, which neighbours say may be linked to a dispute over parking.
He added: "Whatever may or may not turn out to have sat behind the motive, yesterday can only be described as impossible to understand and a catastrophic escalation in events. It is an extreme set of circumstances that a man opens fire with a gun clearly firing at more than one person and shooting an off-duty police constable dead. There must have been some sort of catalyst that prompted the scale of a tragedy of this kind."
Mr Dibell's family issued a statement saying they were devastated by the news. They added: "We are immensely proud of Ian and the courage he showed. We take some comfort from his bravery."
Essex Police said Reeve was "largely unknown to the police" and did not have a licence to hold a firearm.
The man who was injured but survived the attack was named locally as Trevor Marshall, 48. His ex-wife Pauline told reporters she had never heard of Reeve until Monday night, adding: "We are so grateful to the police officer. He is clearly a hero who saved Trevor's life."