The lead negotiator trying to bring in Raoul Moat has described hearing two shots in the final moments of the gunman’s life.
A Northumbria Police officer, identified only as A3, told the Newcastle Crown Court inquest today that he heard a ‘pop’ followed by Moat saying ‘aya’ before another ‘ pop’ as Moat shot himself in the head and fell backwards.
It was the first time In more than 100 suicide interventions that A3 had someone die and he described the moment as ‘completely devastating’.
Having conversed with Moat for more than six hours, A3 said Moat started to hunch over and give up moments before.
He said that Moat had been talking about three different issues - losing his ex-girlfriend Samantha Stobbart, losing his children, and not wanting to go back to prison.
He said: “I talked to him about Sam, and I don’t remember exactly what I said, but it was something like ‘you said Sam is the one who could change things, what about a telephone call’.
“But he said, ‘I can’t believe her’. I said, ‘Raoul you’re changing the goal posts’.
“It was as if he had a moment of clarity.
“I was shouting his name and that this isn’t the way to end it, think of Sam, think of your kids.”
He described Moat as being ‘bolstered’ and taking deep breaths and moving the gun from under his chin to his temple and then hearing two shots.
“He was the most determined man,” he said. “He was intent on committing suicide.”
Earlier in the conversation Moat had asked about Samantha and PC Rathband who he blinded.
A3 said that this was Moat ‘cleansing his soul’.
When asked about a Taser being discharged A3 said he didn’t know because he had been so focused on his position.
He added that during the six-hour stand-off on Rothbury’s riverside Moat agreed to food and water being delivered by firearms officers, to lights being put in behind him, and to officers moving and changing shifts, but he never once agreed to put his gun down.
The inquest continues on Monday with more evidence from police negotiators.