POLICE watchdogs are investigating whether a jailbreak suspect was asleep in a car when he was shot dead by a Scotland Yard firearms officer.
Investigators from the Independent Police Complaints Commission will examine the theory as part of their inquiry into Jermaine Baker’s death.
Mr Baker was shot once in the chest during an armed operation to prevent an alleged bid to spring two gangland assassins from custody.
The 28-year-old had been sitting in a car parked near Wood Green Crown Court, North London, when the armed unit swooped.
Catherine Hall, the IPCC’s deputy senior investigator, confirmed yesterday that they would examine whether the victim had dozed off.
Asked about the line of inquiry after an inquest into Mr Baker’s death was opened then adjourned, she said: “That forms part of the investigation.”
But she added: “The investigation is in its very earliest stages, I am not sure how long it will take.”
Mr Baker’s family, including his girlfriend, Tia Demetrio, packed into Barnet Coroner’s Court, North London, for the brief hearing.
Coroner Andrew Walker told them: “Can I offer my deepest sympathies to the family.”
The officer who fired the fatal shot has been suspended from work and arrested for murder, and his lawyers have asked for a second post mortem on the body.
Mr Baker was gunned down just an hour before mob thugs Izzet Eren and Erwin Amoyaw-Gyamfi were due to be jailed for firearms offences.
They were each given 14-year terms after the court heard they were arrested after crashing a stolen motorbike on their way to a “hit”.
Four men arrested after Mr Baker was shot dead have been charged with conspiracy to aid the escape of the two prisoners.
Two were also charged with possessing an imitation firearm, one of which was recovered from the scene.