School yearbook picture of Croydon shooter shows uniformed 'maths geek' who friends said was 'good with weapons'

School yearbook picture of Croydon shooter shows uniformed 'maths geek' who friends said was 'good with weapons'

CROYDON shooting suspect Louis De Zoysa was described by pals as a "maths geek" who was "good with weapons" in his school yearbook.

The 23-year-old has been named as the man held in a custody suite when shots blasted from a smuggled revolver killed Sgt Matt Ratana, 54, on Friday.

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A chilling yearbook photo from his time at school reveals how his peers saw him as "good with weapons".

Pals also described De Zoysa as a "maths geek" and "very clever", with one classmate writing: "One day we will the rule world together".

The suspect can be seen shyly smiling at the camera in his school uniform in a black and white photo on the yearbook page.

De Zoysa is fighting for life in hospital after one of the bullets fired tore into his own neck during a struggle with the slain cop's colleagues.

Police are still probing how the suspect allegedly concealed a revolver in his pants after his stop-and-search arrest for possession of Class B drugs and ammunition.

Questions have also been raised over how he managed to pepper Croydon Police Station with bullets while his hands were cuffed behind his back.



It comes as details began to emerge over De Zoysa's modest upbringing in a large end-terraced house in Norbury, South London.

His dad Channa, 55, is a yoga teacher while mum  Elizabeth is a local Green Party activist and former election candidate.

De Zoysa lived with his parents at the £717,000 home with sister Channika and brother John, who studied engineering at Oxford University.

He and his four siblings attended local Catholic schools growing up and his family has been described as church-going.

But his parents' 28-year marriage had recently come under strain, with police seen at the home before the shooting, neighbours have revealed.

And Sri Lankan-born Channa appeared before magistrates in March 2015, where he was made the subject of a restraining order against his British wife, who worked as an interpreter.

But the order was withdrawn at Camberwell magistrates’ court in March last year, after the pair reconciled.

Neighbours described De Zoysa, who is believed to be autistic, as “very awkward”.

One said: “I don’t think he had many friends. He was probably a bit of a loner."

Another neighbour said: “They were noisy neighbours. They had two dogs who were very rowdy – they used to come out and chase people around.

“Louis was very awkward. He was always to himself.”

While one local added: “The police have been going round there every couple of months.

“The last time was probably two months ago. I’m not sure what it was over.”

The home has been sealed off by cops as specialist homicide investigators continue to investigate the fatal shooting.

Searches are currently taking place at four locations – the custody suite, the site where he was arrested, and two addresses.

A man was arrested in a dramatic dawn raid in Norwich yesterday in relation to the supply of the firearm that killed Sgt Ratana.

Sgt Ratana was the first ever officer to be killed inside a British police station when the suspect fired five shots from the hidden weapon.

Counter-terrorist cops have confirmed they were not involved in inquiries, despite the suspect being flagged to the Home Office Prevent deradicalisation programme two years ago.

Bosses took no action over claims that he held both extreme Islamist and right wing views after he was assessed to pose no threat.

It comes after The Sun revealed De Soyza was believed to have been revived by medics after he died in hospital.

Deputy assistant commissioner Stuart Cundy said investigators have CCTV from the custody suite and bodycam footage from the officers.

Traumatised cops who survived the shooting will be quizzed once mentally fit.

Officers killed in the line of duty since 2000

Detective Constable Stephen Oake died during a police raid on a flat in Crumpsall, Manchester, in January 2003.

PC Ian Broadhurst, 34, of West Yorkshire Police, was murdered by David Bieber, 38, in Leeds on Boxing Day 2003.

Detective Constable Michael Swindells, 44, died after he was knifed in the stomach as he and colleagues conducted a search in Birmingham in May 2004.

PC Sharon Beshenivsky was shot dead when she and a colleague tried to stop armed robbers in Bradford in November 2005.

PC Ricky Gray was shot in the head by a gunman who then turned the weapon on himself in Shrewsbury in 2007.

PC Gary Toms, 37, was critically injured confronting suspects in Leyton, east London, on April 11 2009. He died six days later when his life support machine was switched off, 25 years to the day after PC Yvonne Fletcher was shot dead outside the Libyan embassy in London while controlling a crowd of demonstrators.

PC Fiona Bone, 32, and PC Nicola Hughes, 23, were murdered by Dale Cregan in Greater Manchester in September 2012.

PC Keith Palmer, who was fatally stabbed in March 2017 by Khalid Masood during the Westminster Bridge terror attack.

PC Andrew Harper died when he was caught in a tow rope and dragged along country lanes after trying to stop quad bike thieves in Berkshire in August 2019.

The suspect had been detained in an area of London Road, Pollards Hill for possession of ammunition and possession of class B drugs.

He was taken to the custody centre in Windmill Lane where he remained handcuffed until a door was opened for him to be searched with a metal detector.

But as the sergeant prepared to take his temperature under Covid rules, the suspect shot him at "point-blank" range, a source said.

The gunman blazed off more shots, five in all, in a fierce struggle in the corridor at 2.15am.

Colleagues battled to save stricken Sgt Ratana's life with medics performing open heart surgery at the custody centre.

But sadly the officer couldn't be saved and he was later declared dead at the hospital.

Tragically, Sgt Ratana was just months from retirement and had moved to work in custody as it was safer.

Tributes have flooded in for the officer, who was originally from Palmerston North in New Zealand.

His colleagues today posted a poignant photo of the cop's empty seat at the station where he would've been starting a day shift.

One officer tweeted another picture of a McDonald's breakfast he bought to pay Sgt Ratana back.



The officer had served with the Met Police since 1991 and worked in Croydon from 2015.

He had told colleagues he intended to quit as early as next year, and posted of his excitement at the prospect of “a long healthy life”.

Pals said Sgt Ratana, dad to a grown-up son, 26, dreamed of travelling Europe on his motorbike then coaching at his rugby club in Sussex.

His partner of four years Sue Bushby was said to be devastated and was being comforted by friends.

Her sister Amanda Tessier, a community nurse, told The Sun: “He was a great big friendly bear of a man, one of the loveliest men you could meet.

“He was absolutely dedicated to being a police officer and had almost 30 years of service.

“He knew the dangers of being a police officer in London but for him it was all part of the job."

The veteran officer's cousin, Adrian Rurawhe, said: "He was really proud to be a police officer, he was also really proud to be Māori from New Zealand."

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick on Friday night said Sgt Ratana was known as a "big guy" with a "big heart".

She said: "A lovely man, respected by his colleagues, officers, staff and of course by members of the public, including, I may say, suspects arrested or dealt with in custody.

"He was very well known locally and he will be remembered so fondly in Croydon and missed there, as well as in the Met and in the rugby world."

New Zealand's prime minister Jacinda Ardern wrote on Facebook that she was "incredibly sad" to hear the news of Matt's death.


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