The ruined mother of the partner of a murdered Metropolitan Police sergeant has described her heartbreak after he was shot with her daughter after "six wonderful years".
Penelope Bushby said today that Sergeant Matiu Ratana had been a pillar of strength for her daughter Sue after she lost her father Roy earlier this year.
Ms. Bushby, 81, added that it was difficult for the couple "to accept that we will never see him again" after Mr. Ratana, 54, was shot at close range on duty on Friday.
In an interview with MailOnline she said: “He was a very lovely man. He loved my daughter and she loved him in the same way.
“He couldn't do enough for us or someone who needed help. He called recently with something for my TV and was his usual smiling self.
"It's hard to accept that we'll never see him again."
Sergeant Matiu Ratana (pictured with his partner Sue) was allegedly shot and killed by a 23-year-old man detained at Croydon Detention Center in south London for possession of ammunition
Ms. Bushby said Sue and Mr. Ratana "talked about getting married" but no concrete plans had been made.
"He was an incredibly kind man," she said. & # 39; He loved Sue. He was so good for her. This is a very difficult time for everyone. & # 39;
The metropolitan police officer was reportedly shot five times in the chest at close range by a man at Croydon Custody Center in south London at 2:15 a.m. on Friday.
He is believed to be preparing to use a metal detector to search the handcuffed suspect arrested for possession of Class B ammunition and drugs with a metal detector in a Covid screening cell.
Mr Ratana, whose job it was to look after the care and welfare of the detainees, died in the hospital.
A year after his retirement, the inspiring police officer (pictured) had plunged into coaching and was looking forward to being able to fully concentrate on promoting future rugby stars
After moving to Worthing, West Sussex, six years ago, Matiu Ratana took on the position of head coach of East Grinstead Rugby Club and helped the youth develop their game
Scotland Yard is under increasing pressure to explain how the suspect appeared to have managed to hide the revolver in his pants and then handcuffed fire on the New Zealand veteran officer.
According to sources, the officers were unable to find the suspect's weapon as it was well hidden and could only have been recovered with an intimate strip search and an examination of the body cavities.
MailOnline announced today that the gunman who shot Mr Ratana had been stopped by officers on the pavement outside a block of the apartment in south London.
There is still a cordon in Anderson Heights, Norbury, from which the 23-year-old suspect was taken to the Croydon Custody Center before shooting at Mr. Ratana, whose hands were allegedly cuffed behind his back.
Security footage from a nearby office, taken in the early hours of Friday morning and seen by MailOnline, shows the suspect walking towards Streatham on London Road when he was stopped by a patrol car outside the five-story apartment as an unsuspecting motorist drive past.
This morning officials occupied the high-rise block where a blue Peugeot and a silver Vauxhall Corsa could be seen in the cordon and a stairwell next to the apartments was taped off
Sergeant Matiu Ratana, 54, was reportedly shot five times at close range in the chest during the incident on Friday
A fast reacting vehicle arrives at 1:44 a.m., followed two minutes later by a police car. The suspect is taken to the van at 1:47 a.m.
It is unclear whether he was searched or handcuffed at the scene, but he did not appear to be acting aggressively and appeared to be cooperating with officers.
Honors from relatives, colleagues and politicians have been received for the rugby-loving "big friendly bear" who was months before his retirement.
Sergeant Ratana was a coach at East Grinstead Rugby Football Club, leaving behind an adult son and partner, Ms. Bushby, with whom he lived in Goring, Sussex.
He was formerly a protection officer for Princess Diana, the Queen Mother, and former Prime Minister John Major.
And in 1992, the hero officer was less than 300 yards from an IRA car bomb that exploded off 10 Downing Street, The Mirror reports.
The father immigrated to Great Britain from New Zealand in 1989 and had been with the Metropolitan Police Service for almost 30 years. Friends said he was incredibly proud of his job and would do anything to help the people in the community.
As a man's bear, the rugby-mad striker was thrown into the deep end of London's dark underbelly, first in Hackney and later in Croydon, where he died yesterday morning.
This morning flowers are being laid outside the Croydon Custody Center where Sergeant Ratana was shot
Masked paramedics were among the crowds who came to the Custody Center in Croydon to pay their respects
People went to the Croydon Custody Center today to mourn Sgt Ratana
This morning flowers will be laid outside the Croydon Custody Center by colleagues honoring Sgt Ratana who died on duty
Friends say he devoted his life to power but had a keen sense of humor away from work and would leave friends in fits of laughter.
After moving to Worthing, West Sussex, six years ago, Mr Ratana took the position of head coach at East Grinstead Rugby Club and helped the youth develop their game.
He had been an outstanding player himself and had even stood out among many other London clubs as a professional Londoner Irishman. He had learned the game at Palmerston North Boys' High School, which has spawned a number of All Blacks.
Three years after arriving in the UK, he married Teresa Conway in Slough and the couple had a son, Luke, the following year.
They later separated and his ex-wife and son are said to have emigrated to Australia. Friends said Mr. Ratana stayed very close to Luke.
The man was arrested at Croydon Detention Center in South London (pictured on Friday) when the incident took place
He's been in a relationship with Sue Bushby for the past four years. Her sister Amanda Tessier said Miss Bushby was devastated by the news and comforted by friends.
Describing Mr. Ratana, she said: “He was a big, kind, kind bear of a man, one of the most beautiful men to meet.
& # 39; He was keen to be a cop and served for nearly 30 years.
We lost another hero, says PC's widow
Constable Andrew Harper's widow spoke yesterday of her grief that "another hero" had been killed at the front.
Lissie Harper, pictured with her late husband, said she was broken over the death of Sgt. Matiu Ratana, adding, "You are protecting us, but who is protecting you?"
The 29-year-old was married to Mr Harper, a Thames Valley official, for just four weeks when he was killed by a gang of three teenage thieves in August 2019.
She said: 'This is devastating news. Nobody should go to work to never return. No man should be deprived of his life in a barbaric crime. Another hero was taken from us in unjustified violence. They protect us, but who is protecting them? Another life has passed in a shameful act that reminds us of the danger our cops face with each shift they begin. & # 39;
Harper, 28, was killed by a group of teenagers in a fast moving getaway car that dragged him for more than a mile on country roads near Sulhamstead, Berkshire.
“He knew the dangers of being a cop in London and he'd talked about it, but it was all part of the job for him.
“It was something he was trained and used to. He was such a lovely guy. We just can't believe it. How did someone have a gun in the police station? & # 39;
The flowers were left outside the Croydon Detention Center yesterday.
Among those paying tribute was Paul, 27, who was trained by Mr. Ratana in East Grinstead.
He said: & # 39; The man was a machine. He was a leader among men. He'd train us straight to work like he'd done last night.
“He left training around 9pm last night. He was such an inspiration. He's helped our club so much.
“Many years ago we lost our funding and he fought with all his might for the club and really lifted us up. As players, we were like brothers. He was so alive, larger than life, that he was the guy everyone just wanted to have a beer with. & # 39;
Glenn and Debbie Stobart lived next to Ratana in Coulsdon in south London for a few years before moving to Worthing.
Ms. Stobart, a close friend, said: “He was a fantastic man. He always helped others. If you were concerned about anything, he would answer your concern.
& # 39; He was so caring, funny, everyone knew him. He was a really great character.
He moved into the area the first day, knocked on the door and introduced himself, and everyone got to know him from then on. He loved his job and was a police officer. He was so proud to serve the church.
“He was looking forward to retirement next year but wasn't sure what to do with all the free time and got into rugby even more. He loved helping the children and it gave him a real purpose. & # 39;
Holding back tears as she talked about his killer, she added, “You should throw away the key.
“How could someone get to a police station with a gun? It asks for faith. & # 39;
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