Tributes have been made by the family and colleagues of the London City Airport officer who died in a shooting incident at North Woolwich Police station last Sunday.
PC Kenny Cornelius had worked at the Aviation Security Command unit based at the airport since October 2009.
His widow, Wendy Cornelius, has released a statement to the media with the proviso that her family’s privacy during their time of grief is fully respected: “Kenny was an incredibly loving husband, son and brother who was loved and adored. He was dedicated to the Police force and was very proud to be a serving police officer. He will be greatly missed. We are struggling to come to terms with this tragedy and would ask for privacy to allow us to grieve.”
Chief Superintendent Bert Moore, OCU Commander at SO18, said: “My priorities now are to look after the welfare of Kenny’s wife and family and his colleagues at London City Airport.
“Despite our experience as police officers, the death of a colleague is one of the most difficult issues we deal with and, when it happens in such circumstances, it brings with it its own particular emotions. We are all deeply shocked and saddened by Kenny’s death.
“In partnership with our colleagues from the DPS we have put in place trained Family Liaison Officers with Kenny’s family and Occupational Health support for my officers and staff affected by this incident.
PC Cornelius, 38, reported for duty on Sunday afternoon May 13 and was issued with his firearms. A short time later he was found in the police station with a gunshot wound.
His colleagues administered first aid, the London Ambulance Service attended but despite their efforts they were unable to save him.
A post-mortem held on Tuesday May 15 gave the cause of death as a gunshot wound to the head. An inquest has opened and adjourned at Walthamstow Coroner’s Court.
A report is being prepared for the coroner by officers from the Directorate of Professional Standards.
While the investigation is still at an early stage, the Metropolitan Police say that “without wishing to prejudge the outcome of the investigation, the indications are that PC Cornelius sadly took his own life.”
PC Cornelius joined the MPS in August 1998 and began his career on Lambeth borough. He also worked in the Territorial Support Group before moving to the Aviation Security Command in October 2009.
Chief Superintendent Moore said: “I would like to extend our thanks to colleagues from across the MPS who assisted us in very difficult circumstances on Sunday afternoon.”