The Independent Police Complaints Committee (IPCC) are appealing for witnesses to come forward in connection with the shooting of a man by police on the M62. The IPCC are also urging for "patience" while the investigation deals with the "many unanswered questions" following the kiling of Mohammed Yassar Yaqub on 2 January by West Midlands Police.
A post-mortem revealed that Yaqub, 28, died from gunshot wounds to the chest while travelling in a white Audi after being pulled over on Junction 26 near Huddersfield during a "pre-planned" police operation.
Yaqub, who is accused of being a "major" drug dealer, was stopped along with a white Volkswagen Scirocco by four unmarked police vehicles. The IPCC confirmed that a non-police issue firearm was found in the vehicle Yaqub was travelling in, which is currently undergoing ballistics and forensic testing.
Forensic tests are also being carried out on the two vehicles stopped and on an unmarked police car. None of the West Midlands Police officers involved in the police operation were wearing body cameras at the time of the shooting, a move which has been questioned by campaigners. There is also no relevant CCTV footage of the incident to help with the investigation.
IPCC investigators said they are, "continuing to gather information and build a picture of the events that unfolded," prior to the shooting of Yaqub and are appealing for any potential witnesses to come forward.
IPCC Commissioner Derrick Campbell said: "I would like to reassure the local and wider community that this will be a thorough and detailed independent investigation. We will be carefully examining all the circumstances leading up to Mr Yaqub's death, including the planning of the police operation, and the actions of the officers involved that evening.
"I am, of course, aware there are many unanswered questions but I would urge patience at this time and that people allow our investigation to run its course. If anyone witnessed events who has not yet come forward we would be grateful to hear from them.
"We are making steady, positive progress, and are continuing to build a picture of what exactly happened. We are in contact with Mr Yaqub's family and will be keeping them updated."
Elsewhere, campaign group Just Yorkshire have written to the force's Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson and Chief Constable Dee Collins to express their "deep disappointment" in their failure to make a public statement on the shooting, as well as questioning why none of the officers involved in the shooting were wearing body cameras during the planned operation.
West Yorkshire Police said five other men were arrested on suspicion of possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear in connection with the police operation. Two men, aged 26 and 30, have since been released on bail.