Mat Ratana was a police officer and head coach at his local rugby club. He was well regarded by the local community and the boys he coached.
Being a police officer is a demanding and sometimes dangerous job. He had spent many years working on the streets and was close to retirement. He decided that as being a custody Sergeant meant working in the police station, that would be safer than the streets.
One evening his Colleagues arrested 23-year-old Louis De Zoysa. They brought him in with his hands cuffed behind his back.
It is yet to be discovered how he managed to smuggle a gun into the police station and shoot Mat Ratana dead. He also turned the gun on himself and is currently very ill in hospital.
The police are like a family and they grieve over the death of one of their own. It is likely that search procedures will change as a result of this incident. It is also a sharp reminder of what police officers face every day.
Sergeant Ratana came to the United Kingdom from New Zealand in 1989 and joined the police force two years later. He was loved by his colleagues and well regarded by the local community. He would have been looking forward to retirement, but that was taken away in the blink of an eye by a shot from a gun. The suspect is currently in no condition to be interviewed by the police.