The National Police Bravery Awards: Five Hampshire officers nominated after stopping man who had explosives

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Five Hampshire police officers have been nominated for a national bravery award after disarming a man with a handgun and explosives in Gosport.

The heroic actions of PC Emma Davies, PC Tim Clarkson, Sgt David Gibbs, PC Nathan Fulton and PC Scott Thompson have been recognised after they responded to a call out in Gosport on August 28. All five of the put their lives at risk to protect the public and apprehend a wanted man who had a handgun and two explosive devices.

PC Davies and Clarkson were the first to attend the scene, they were denied access to an address by the wanted man, 54-year-old Damian Mazurkiewicz. Having called for assistance, the three further officers arrived and used a battering ram to enter the premises. The suspect had a gun to his head and two bags wrapped around his bodies with wires coming out of them, in his other hand he had a battery pack and detonator which he then used.

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Upon detonation sparks flew out from one of the bags and toxic fumes filled the hallway but all five officers played their part in apprehending him, including PC Davies who ran to help after reports of gunfire which ended up being the noise from the explosive device. PC Clarkson and PC Thompson tasered the man and Sgt Gibbs helped pull the man out of the building.

Five Hampshire police officers who disarmed a man who was brandishing a handgun and two explosive devices have been nominated for The National Police Bravery Awards.Five Hampshire police officers who disarmed a man who was brandishing a handgun and two explosive devices have been nominated for The National Police Bravery Awards.
Five Hampshire police officers who disarmed a man who was brandishing a handgun and two explosive devices have been nominated for The National Police Bravery Awards. | Hampshire Police Federation

PC Fulton and the other officers struggled to disarm the man but they were able to do so just as he was reaching for the second bag, with two sets of cuffs required to subdue him. The bags were taken off him and thrown into the alleyway by PC Thompson and PC Clarkson before PC Davies used a fire extinguisher to cool the devices down. Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) attended the scene and confirmed that the device was a viable improvised explosive device (IED) containing a bottle full of broken glass and metal ball bearings, which could act as shrapnel.

Zoë Wakefield, Chair of Hampshire Police Federation, said: “What a fantastic five colleagues. Many congratulations to Emma, Tim, David, Nathan and Scott. This incident turned into something completely unexpected and terrifying. The officers’ selfless actions, when faced with an armed suspect with an explosive device, displayed their quick thinking, great teamwork and huge courage. Their pure professionalism was amazing; if it hadn’t been for their actions there would surely have been serious injuries, if not fatalities. We are all extremely proud of them.”

Mazurkiewicz was charged with possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and acting with intent to cause an explosion likely to endanger life/injure property. In February 2024, the man 54-year-old Damian Mazurkiewicz pleaded guilty to ‘use of imitation firearm to resist arrest’ under the Firearms act 1968, and ‘do an act with intent to cause an explosion’ under the Explosive Substances Act 1883.

The officers will attend the National Police Bravery Awards in July which includes a reception at Downing Street, followed by an evening ceremony with fellow nominees from around the country.