Man charged with murdering 2 unarmed police officers

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 September, 2012, 11:24am
UPDATED : Friday, 21 September, 2012, 4:17pm

A 29-year-old man has been charged with murdering two unarmed police officers in the Manchester region of northern England, British authorities said on Thursday.

Fiona Bone, a 32-year-old who was planning her wedding, and 23-year-old Nicola Hughes died on Tuesday shortly after a gunman opened fire and set off a grenade in Hattersley, a suburban area about 16km from central Manchester.

The case provoked shock and outrage in Britain, where fatal gun attacks on police are rare. Firearms are tightly controlled and few officers carry deadly weapons.

Dale Cregan, already the focus of an intense police manhunt as a suspect in two other killings, surrendered at a local police station shortly after the incident and was booked on suspicion of murder.

Prosecutor Nazir Afzal said on Thursday that Cregan has been charged with murder in the deaths of Bone and Hughes, along with father and son David and Mark Short, who were killed in separate incidents earlier this year.

Cregan also faces four charges of attempted murder and will appear in custody at Manchester City Magistrates’ Court on Friday, Afzal added.