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The partner of a police officer killed in Croydon has paid tribute to the “gentle giant, with his infectious smile and big heart”.

Su Bushby said Sgt Matiu Ratana, with whom she spent five years of her life, “touched many, many people’s lives”.

She added: “Matt was my partner, friend, confidant, support and soul mate.”

Sgt Ratana, 54, died in hospital on Friday after being shot as a handcuffed suspect was being taken into custody.

The suspect, Louis De Zoysa, 23, from Norbury, who is thought to have also shot himself, remains critically ill in hospital.

A man was also arrested in Norwich on suspicion of supplying a firearm on Sunday. He remains in custody at a south London police station.

Ms Bushby’s tribute came after MPs in the House of Commons fell silent on Monday afternoon to pay their respects to the experienced officer.

 

Sgt Matiu Ratana with Cressida Dick
  Image copyright MIT POLICE Image caption Mel Commissioner Cressida Dick had worked with Sgt Matiu Ratana

 

“There aren’t really any words for how I am feeling right now about the loss of Matt; about losing someone I loved and was so close to in such a tragic manner,” Ms Bushby said.

“I know Matt touched many, many people’s lives with his friendliness, patience, kindness, enthusiasm and caring ways.

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“I had the pleasure of sharing five years of my life with this lovely man – my gentle giant, with his infectious smile and a big heart. I think of him with tenderness and love.””He will be greatly missed but never forgotten. Matt will always be in my head and in my heart,” she added. The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said Mr De Zoysa was arrested on suspicion of possession of Class B drugs with intent to supply and possession of ammunition.