Murdered Police Sgt Matt Ratana’s former police colleagues in New Zealand have performed a powerful and emotional Haka tribute for their former officer.
The force performed the traditional Haka as a mark of respect for PS Matt Ratana, 54, who died in hospital on Friday after he was shot in the chest at Croydon Custody Centre as he dealt with a man arrested for possession of ammunition and an alleged drugs offence.
He was shot by Louis De Zoysa, who was still handcuffed at the time, as officers prepared to search him using a metal detector.
Video footage of the tribute has been posted on the PS Matt Ratana Memorial Group Facebook page and shows around 30 uniformed officers standing in a courtyard as one officer leads the rest of them in the Haka tribute and senior officers watch.
The footage was captioned: “PS Matt Ratana’s former colleagues in NZ have performed the traditional Haka as a mark of respect for PS Matt Ratana and their other colleagues such as
Constable Matthew Hunt. #RIP.”
Murdered Police Sgt Matiu Ratana’s partner Su Bushby, has also paid tribute to him, describing him as a big hearted ‘gentle giant’.
Sgt Matiu Ratana, 54, known as Matt, died in hospital on Friday after being shot in the chest at Croydon Custody Centre as he dealt with an arrested man. He was shot by Louis De Zoysa, who was still handcuffed at the time, as officers prepared to search him using a metal detector. De Zoysa is said to have shot himself after shooting Sgt Ratana and is in a critical condition in hospital.
Su Bushby said: “There aren’t really any words for how I am feeling right now about the loss of Matt; about losing someone I loved, and was so close to, in such a tragic manner.
“I know Matt touched many, many people’s lives with his friendliness, patience, kindness, enthusiasm and caring ways.
“I had the pleasure of sharing five years of my life with this lovely man – my gentle giant, with his infectious smile and big heart. I think of him with tenderness and love.
NZ Police performing the Haka today
“Matt was my partner, friend, confidant, support and soul mate.
“He will be greatly missed but never forgotten. Matt will always be in my head and in my heart. “
De Zoysa, 23, from Norbury, was known previously to counter-terrorism officials and had previously been referred to the government’s Prevent programme, which is designed to stop people joining extremist groups and carrying out terrorist activities. Another man was arrested in Norwich on suspicion of supplying a firearm.
Matt Ratana receiving his Long Service and Good Conduct Medal from Commissioner Cressida Dick on 31 May 2017
The IOPC is examining CCTV and police bodycam footage to establish how exactly the shootings took place but said De Zoysa was in handcuffs during the incident, with his hands behind his back.
Louis De Zoysa
Sgt Ratana, who was from New Zealand, was shot in the chest at around 2.15am on Friday. He came to the UK in his early 20s in 1989 and joined the Met Police two years later. He would have been eligible for retirement in two months.
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