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British criminal shot dead in Spain after firing at officers, police say

A police car is seen outside the police station where British businessman Bill Browder, a prominent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was taken to when he was detained and then released by Spanish police in Madrid, May 30, 2018. REUTERS/Juan Medina

By Thomas Hornall and Gonzalo Canada, Press Association

An armed British criminal has been shot dead by Spanish police on the Costa del Sol after firing at officers, authorities said.

Sean Hercules, 39, was traced to a hotel near Malaga after Spanish police said he was spotted fleeing a car accident with a weapon.

Witnesses saw him leave the crash site near Puerto Banus on Monday morning before he was later located at the hotel in the resort town of Estepona, around 20 minutes' drive away.

He opened fire on officers after they confronted him and was then killed in the shootout, Spanish national police in Malaga said.

Two firearms and four cartridges were found next to his body.

Hercules had a history of drug trafficking and weapons possession, the statement added.

Hercules, originally from Leeds, was a convicted robber who shot a man with a double-barrelled shotgun in the city centre in 2005, weeks after being released early from prison, according to a Yorkshire Evening Post report at the time.

The attack, which was compared to the "Wild West" by the presiding judge, left the victim with more than 250 gunshot pellets in his body, it added.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said: "Our staff are in contact with the family of a British man following his death in Spain, and have offered them support and advice on bereavement abroad."

A judicial investigation into the fatal shooting has been ordered, Spanish police said.

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