A man who died after he was shot by police with a Taser gun has been named locally as ex-Aston Villa footballer Dalian Atkinson. Officers were called to a home in Meadow Close, Telford, Shrophire in the early hours of this morning amid concerns “for the safety of an individual”. West Mercia Police said the 48-year-old man was given medical treatment after being hit by a stun gun but died around 90 minutes later. An unnamed neighbour said: “I had known him since he was a little boy, he was a famous footballer at one time. He was friendly, he had no trouble that I know of.”
An ambulance spokesman said while the man was being taken to Princess Royal Hospital his condition deteriorated and he suffered a cardiac arrest. He was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the medical facility. Atkinson’s wonder goal against Wimbledon during a 3-2 win in October 1992 was named Match of the Day’s goal of the season.
The police use of Tasers is intended as a non-lethal weapon. The incident has now been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). Police said in a statement: “West Mercia Police can confirm that officers responded to a report for the concern for the safety of an individual at approximately 1.30am this morning at an address in Telford.
“Upon arrival Taser was deployed and a 48-year-old man, who subsequently received medical attention, was pronounced dead at approximately 3am. “West Mercia Police are unable to comment any further as the incident has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) as is normal procedure, and will assist the IPCC with their inquiries.”
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “We were called by West Mercia Police to an address in Meadow Close in the Trench area of Telford at about 1.45am this morning. “An ambulance was dispatched and upon arrival found a man who had been Tasered. “As he was being conveyed to Princess Royal Hospital, his condition deteriorated and he went into cardiac arrest. “Despite the efforts of the crew and hospital staff, it was not possible to save him and he was confirmed dead at hospital, shortly after arrival.” The police use of Tasers rose slightly towards the end of 2015 with 10,329 uses by forces in England and Wales – a 2% increase compared with 2014.