A POST-MORTEM examination has given a preliminary cause of death for Metropolitan Police Sergeant Matt Ratana.

The 54-year-old died from a gunshot wound to the chest after being injured at Croydon Custody Centre, an inquest has heard.

The rugby coach from Goring was shot dead by a handcuffed suspect, widely named as 23-year-old Louis De Zoysa, as he was booked in at a custody suite in the early hours of Friday.

Detective Superintendent Nick Blackburn said the weapon was discharged "several times".

A revolver was later recovered from the scene.

Read more: Partner pays emotional tribute to 'gentle giant' Sergeant Matt Ratana

He told the inquest the suspect was first detained by police in Pollards Hill in south London at 1.30am.

The suspect was handcuffed and taken into custody on suspicion of the possession of ammunition and a class B drug.

He said: "Upon arrival (at Croydon custody centre), he (the suspect) was taken to a holding room where he remained in handcuffs.

"The custody sergeant, Matt Ratana, entered the holding room.

"The suspect discharged the weapon several times, during which the sergeant and the suspect were injured."

The inquest heard Mr Ratana was taken to St George's Hospital in Tooting but he was pronounced dead at 4.20am.

Detectives are yet to speak to the suspect, who remains in a critical condition in hospital after shooting himself in the same incident.

On Tuesday, it was reported that police investigating Sergeant Ratana’s murder were searching more than 30 acres of farmland in Barnstead, Surrey.

The Argus:

Officers also searched a property in Southbrook Road, Norbury, south-west London.

A man arrested in Norwich, Norfolk, on suspicion of supplying a firearm in connection with the incident has been bailed until late this month.