Sussex police officer shot dead: partner pays tribute to 'gentle giant'

The partner of a police officer from Sussex has paid tribute to her 'gentle giant' following his death.

Monday, 28th September 2020, 4:53 pm

Sergeant Matt Ratana, 54, sadly died after being shot shortly after 2am on Friday morning by a suspect detained in a Croydon custody centre, according to the Met Police.

The suspect is reported to have then turned the gun on himself, said the Met, leaving him in a critical condition in hospital.

Sgt Ratana was head coach at East Grinstead Rugby Club and was a familiar face at rugby clubs across Sussex. His social media accounts and national media have reported he lived in Goring-by-Sea, Worthing.

Sgt Matt Ratana receiving a long and good service medal from the Commissioner Cressida Dick on 31 May 2017

In a statement released by the Metropolitan Police, where he worked for almost 30 years, his partner Su Bushby paid tribute to him.

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."

An investigation into Sgt Ratana's murder has led to a man being arrested yesterday morning (September 27) in Norwich on suspicion of supplying a firearm. He is currently in custody at a South London police station, according to the Met Police.

The searches and forensic examination of the scene in Pollards Hill in Croydon have been concluded and the cordons have now been removed.

He was described by Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service Cressida Dick, who presented him with a long and good service medal on May 31, 2017, as a 'big-hearted', 'lovely man'.