James Carlo Wilson inquest: How the tragedy unfolded in a South Shields street

Police on the scene after James Carlo Wilson was shot in Frenchman's Way, South Shields.
Police on the scene after James Carlo Wilson was shot in Frenchman's Way, South Shields.

A garbled 999 call at just after 1am started a fast moving chain of events which would see James Wilson fatally wounded by a police marksman 30 minutes later.

The caller initially spoke of James Wilson in the third person, leading officers to believe they were being spoken to by someone else, possibly as a hoax.

James Carlo Wilson.

James Carlo Wilson.

But within 10 minutes the police had decided the man they were speaking to was Wilson himself.

He was making various threats about shooting police officers, and telling them he would not give up his weapon when challenged.

Control of the incident was passed from the Northumbria Police control room at South Shields to Chief Inspector David Guthrie at force headquarters in Ponteland.

The date was March 29, 2016, a Bank Holiday, and Chief Inspector Guthrie only had two armed response vehicles to on call - one at Newcastle Airport and one in Newcastle city centre.

Both were sent to the scene in Frenchman’s Way, South Shields. The armed response vehicle crewed by PC John Shield and PC Perry Lisle (now retired) arrived first.

Read more: South Shields man shot dead by police was lawfully killed, inquest rules

In accordance with the their training the officers stopped on the way to don their protective gear, and to get their weapons from the safe in the back of the police car.

PC Lisle took a rifle, his colleague took a baton launcher.

Upon arrival in Frenchman’s Way the officers saw a clearly agitated Mr Wilson in the street, shouting threats and brandishing a Walther air pistol - known as the James Bond gun because it is the one the fictional agent is holding in publicity shots for the films.

Following their instructions from Chf Insp Guthrire, the two men challenged Mr Wilson from cover - their armoured police car.

Seven challenges were recorded by Mr Wilson’s phone which still had an open line to the police.

PC Shield fired a baton round which knocked Mr Wilson backwards, but did not cause him to fall to the ground or drop his weapon.

PC Lisle told the inquest he then saw Mr Wilson raise the gun again, pointing it in the direction of the police.

The officer said that in accordance with his training he fired his weapon, aiming for the biggest part of his target - the torso.

Both officers, who were both trained in advanced first aid, rushed forward to assist Mr Wilson as he lay in the road.

Mr Wilson, of Candlish Street, South Shields, was fatally wounded, dying in hospital three days later.