Murder investigation launched after Chigwell dad-of-two dies protecting wife and store

Police at the scene of the incident on Monday

Police at the scene of the incident on Monday - Credit: Archant

Detectives are investigating the murder of a have-a-go hero who tried to stop a gang of men armed with metal bars and a sledge hammer from robbing his cash and carry.

Brave father-of-two Shammi Atwal, of Chigwell, was allegedly killed when one of the suspected robbers pushed him in front of a moving lorry at about 10.20am along River Road, Barking, yesterday.

Police said he had chased the group of up to ten men from Glenn and Co cash and carry — the store that he co-owned with his wife — in a bid to prevent them stealing from the store when he was killed.

The driver of the lorry stopped at the scene but no arrests were made.

Ambulance crews pronounced Mr Atwal, in his 40s, dead at the scene just after 11am and also treated his wife, 37, for minor injuries.

Det Ch Insp Neale Baldock, of the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: “He acted bravely in defence of his wife and managed to chase the robbers from his premises only for him to be pushed in front of a moving lorry.

“People in the community know who committed this appalling and cowardly crime and I would urge them to contact my officers.”

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The suspects are described as white males and inquiries are underway into how they fled the scene.

Formal identification of Mr Atwal has yet to take place, though detectives were satisfied that he was the deceased.

A post-mortem examination will take place on a date to be confirmed.

Anyone who was in the area at the time or who has information about this incident is asked to call the Incident Room on 020 8345 1570 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.