YESTERDAY plain clothes police shot dead an unarmed Asian youth with five bullets to the head at Stockwell Underground station.
He was shot at close range while pinned to the floor in a Tube carriage just after 10.00am.
Passenger Mark Whitby, told BBC News: ‘I was sitting on the train reading my paper. I heard a load of noise, people saying, “Get out, get down!”
‘I saw an Asian guy run onto the train hotly pursued by three plain-clothes police officers.
‘One of them was carrying a black handgun – it looked like an automatic – they pushed him to the floor, bundled on top of him and unloaded five shots into him.
‘I saw the gun being fired five times into the guy – he is dead.’
Another witness at Stockwell, Tina Godley, told Sky News: ‘As I was about to step onto the train about eight or nine undercover police guys with walkie-talkies and handguns started screaming at everyone to “Get out, get out, run as fast as you can and get out of the station”.
‘Because they were plain clothes it was surreal, people just turned round and looked and people started running so we all just ran, quite calmly up the stairs.
‘And then there were about six or seven gunshots behind us and then people just screaming at us to get out of the station and that’s pretty much all I remember.
‘But the guy who stepped onto the Tube in front of me was very calm, he wasn’t running, but obviously the armed police were running after him.’
Witnesses to the killing were later taken away by Special Branch.
At a police press conference held at 3.30 yesterday afternoon Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair made no attempt to link the murdered man with Thursday’s attempted bombings.
He made it clear that the search for all four suspected bombers is still on.
In another major armed incident in West London, armed police confronted two women of Middle Eastern appearance and a boy, making them lie down on the ground while they searched them.
This incident began after large numbers of armed police were seen in a raid on an internet cafe at the junction of Fermoy Road and Great Western Road near Westbourne Park Tube station.
There were no arrests made but police sealed off a large section of the Harrow Road.
In other incidents, at around 10.30am armed police surrounded the East London Mosque near Whitechapel after a suspect package was reported.
Around noon, an overground railway train travelling from Southampton to Waterloo was evacuated after another suspect package was reported.
Prime Minister Blair held a COBRA emergency meeting of ministers, police and intelligence chiefs yesterday afternoon, the second in as many days.
At the police press conference held afterwards, Commissioner Blair said of the morning’s police killing that ‘as part of the operations linked to yesterday’s incidents, Metropolitan Police officers have shot a man inside Stockwell Underground Station’ at approximately 10.00am.
He added: ‘Both London Ambulance Service and the Air Ambulance attended and a man was pronounced dead at the scene’.
He repeated that as far as he knew ‘this shooting is directly linked to the ongoing and expanding anti-terrorist operation.’
He claimed that ‘as I understand the situation the man was challenged and refused to obey police instructions.’
But eyewitnesses had earlier insisted the man was not challenged and that ‘police just piled on top of him’.
Police showed CC TV footage of the four alleged bombers.
The press conference closed with the police chief declaring that there would be no questions, as this was just a briefing.
Meanwhile, rail unions RMT and ASLEF met with Mayor Ken Livingstone after Underground train drivers phoned in refusing to drive trains after Thursday’s and yesterday’s events.
After the meeting, the RMT warned there could be industrial action if the union’s safety concerns were not met.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow had called for plans to cut staff and fire safety standards to be dropped, and for the guards to be brought back to London Underground trains.
Calling for better security Crow said: ‘We have made it clear that any of our members who refuse to work in such circumstances on safety grounds will have the complete support of the union.’