Watch: Police officer's partner pays tribute to her 'gentle giant' with 'infectious smile'
The partner of Sergeant Matt Ratana, the officer killed on Friday, has paid tribute to her “gentle giant”.
The 54-year-old was shot by a handcuffed suspect at Croydon Custody Centre in south London.
Su Bushby’s message was released as MPs fell silent to pay their respects to the officer in the House of Commons on Monday.
She 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.
“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. “
Sgt Ratana, who was born in New Zealand, had almost 30 years’ experience as an officer. He was with the Metropolitan Police for five years.
Community leaders from Croydon have also paid tributes, while Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle asked MPs to stand to observe a minute’s silence.
The suspect is said to be in a critical condition in hospital after being hit by a bullet after the killing.
He had been arrested for possession of ammunition and possession of class B drugs with intent to supply following a stop and search, before being handcuffed and taken to Croydon Custody Centre on Friday.