Witnesses have spoken of the shocking moment they saw Lewis Skelton shot by police in a Hull street.

Those going about their daily business or working nearby were met with a distressing sight as they saw officers warn Lewis to drop the axe he was carrying.

But with the 31-year-old failing to heed the warnings, he was shot twice.

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On day eight of the inquest into Lewis’s death, the court heard how a number of people nearby saw the harrowing events unfold before their eyes.

Lewis was Tasered four times before being shot by police officers in Francis Street, in the city centre, on November 29, 2016 after he was seen carrying an axe in the street.

Lewis, who lived in Durham Street, off Holderness Road, was shot twice and later died in hospital after four-hour surgery.

Watch: the scene at the time after the shooting

A woman was working on the reception at HICA on Francis Street, close to the incident, when she saw Lewis being shot in the lower back and right shoulder.

She said: “I heard voices outside and I went to have a look what was happening. I saw a male running by with an axe in his hand and then there were two police officers running towards him. They shouted for him to stop.

“One of the officers Tasered the man but he just kind of shivered and carried on running.

“I then saw the officer shoot the man with the axe in his lower back and I saw the blood. He fell to his knees.

“I then saw a second shot which hit his right shoulder and he fell to the ground.

“The man who was shot was fighting off and resisting the officers. Other police officers arrived and he sent one female officer flying.

“Officers were giving him CPR and then the ambulance arrived and he was taken away on a stretcher.”

Lewis Skelton.
Lewis Skelton.

A workman, who was in Francis Street at the time of the shooting, told the inquest he heard a loud bang and then saw an officer with a gun.

He said: “I was talking with a colleague by the van at the top of Francis Street when I heard this bang like a pop. I thought a tyre had blown. It was a shock to hear it.

“I looked down the road and there was a police officer with a gun in his hand.

“I heard shouting “get down, get down!’.”

“I then heard another bang which seemed even louder. I saw the officer had fired again.”

Timeline and location of the incidents which lead to Lewis Skelton being shot dead by police in Hull on November 29, 2016
Timeline and location of the incidents which lead to Lewis Skelton being shot dead by police in Hull on November 29, 2016

The worker then saw more police officers arrive to try and restrain Lewis.

He said: “I saw four or five officers with this lad on the ground.

“The lad seemed to be kicking out at the officers saying ‘get off me’. I also saw something shiny lying on the ground two or three meters away but I didn’t know what it was.”

The witness then says police moved him back away from the scene but he could still see what was happening.

He said: “I saw one officer with a cotton pad telling the man to let her try and help him. I then saw the man taken away on a stretcher into an ambulance.

“Throughout I felt the officers were trying to help him but he was resisting.”

Another witness was in his car parked on Francis Street having returned from having an eye test.

He told the inquest: “I heard someone shouting and saw two police officers following this young man. The officers were shouting to the man ‘drop it’.

“I saw the man holding a small ornamental hatchet above his head.

“The man was walking along like a tour guide, holding the hatchet above his head as if to ensure the tourists could see and follow him.

Lewis Skelton.
Lewis Skelton.

“Every time the officers shouted at him to drop it the man swore but he didn’t turn around. He seemed agitated.

“The officers were holding what I thought were Tasers, I didn’t expect them to be guns.

“They walked past my car and then I heard a crack which I now realise was a gun shot.

“I looked in my mirror and saw the man who seemed to be struggling to get back up then fall down again.

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“I didn’t realise at the time he had been shot, I thought he’d been Tasered.”

The inquest continues and is expected to last until mid-October.

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