Gangster still at large after officer gunned down in South Croydon

A gunman is being hunted by detectives after shooting and seriously injuring a police officer on a routine patrol in South Croydon.

PC Wayne Stevens had to undergo surgery after a bullet from the gun shattered his elbow.

The gunman, who is believed to have connections to the gang Don't Say Nothing (DSN), escaped after firing two shots at pursuing officers just after 10pm on Friday night.

PC Stevens is still recovering in hospital and is in a stable condition.

The brave officer was honoured with a hospital visit from the outgoing Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson on Sunday night following his resignation over the News of the World phone hacking scandal, which is engulfing the Met Police and some national newspapers.

Croydon councillor Steve O'Connell, a Greater London Assembly member who sits on the Metropolitan Police Authority, said: "It shocks me there are young people who seem to be very casual in their use of weapons of death and destruction such as knives or guns and that they would use a weapon on a uniformed officer.

"I think this is an unusual incident. Mercifully the PC will recover. This must concentrate our minds even more on making sure that guns and knives are removed from our streets."

Demar Provan, 21, from West Norwood and Adewale Ogunsanya, 22, of Streatham, appeared at Croydon Magistrates' Court on Monday charged with possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and possession of ammunition.

PC Stevens is the second policeman to be seriously injured in Croydon this year.

On May 19, PC Nigel Albuery suffered severe kidney damage when he was stabbed four times while trying to stop and search a group of youths in Bute Road.

In the latest incident police were called to Kingsdown Road after an off-duty police officer saw three men acting suspiciously near his home.

The trio were seen taking pictures of one another on their mobile phones in the stairwell of a block of flats.

Officers were called to the scene and attempted to stop and question the men as they walked down Kingsdown Road.

Two men were arrested but another fled, pulling a gun on pursuing officers as he ran away and firing at them from 10ft (3m) away.

Mr Provan and Mr Ogunsanya have been remanded in custody and are due to appear at Croydon Crown Court on September 23.

A third man was arrested that night on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm and possession of drugs. He has been bailed.

PC Stevens has also been praised for his courage by his superiors.

Croydon Borough Commander Adrian Roberts said: "I am deeply proud of the officers who were on duty on Friday night and who provided a first class response, not only to their injured colleague but in arresting three suspects so quickly.

"The wounded officer showed true bravery that night and his welfare and recovery remain a top priority for me.

"Thankfully, this kind of incident doesn’t happen very often in Croydon. However, it is a risk each and every officer has to face day-in, day-out and it is our job and our duty to keep the public safe and to ensure that people committing these crimes are brought to justice.

"I would like to reassure the public of my continued commitment to tackling serious crime across the borough."

Police Commander Tony Easthaugh said: "I am outstandingly proud of our officers who put themselves in positions of danger on a daily basis to protect the communities of London.

"It is sad an unarmed officer has been shot while performing his duty to the public. Our thoughts are with him and his family."

Councillor Simon Hoar, the council’s cabinet member for community safety, said: “This incident demonstrates the very real dangers police officers face every day on the streets of London.

"We will continue to work with the police in making our communities safer and our thoughts are with the officer as he makes his recovery.”