The WPCs that were gunned down in the Mottram district of Greater Manchester were unarmed at the time.

Dale Cregan, 29, who was already being hunted for a gun and grenade attack in the city was arrested on suspicion of murder after entering a police station after the murders. 

A number of shots were fired during the incident and a grenade was detonated.

The Hattersley Estate in Mottram was the sight of the shooting, incidentally it was also the home of Moors Murderer Ian Brady in the 1960s.

The Greater Manchester Police initially confirmed that one officer died on the scene and the second officer was undergoing treatment, however it was later confirmed that both WPCs had died.

Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan, said: “It is with great sadness that we announce the death of a second police officer following an incident in Tameside this morning.

“A long and dark shadow has been cast across Greater Manchester and my thoughts are with the officers’ family, friends and colleagues. We will be doing everything we can to support them over the coming days and weeks.”

Home Secretary Theresa May said: “This is a deeply shocking incident and a terrible reminder of the risks that police officers face every day to keep our communities safe.

“My thoughts are with the families of the officers and their colleagues at Greater Manchester Police.”

A spokesman for the force said: “The two female police officers, who were unarmed, suffered serious injuries and one officer tragically died at the scene. Medical teams were quickly on the scene to provide treatment and armed response vehicles have secured the area.”

The spokesman added: “A short time later, 29-year-old Dale Cregan was arrested after he walked into a police station in Tameside. Cregan has been arrested on suspicion of two counts of murder in relation to the investigations into the murders of David Short and Mark Short. He has also been arrested on suspicion of the murder of a police officer.”

Authorities were seeking Dale Cregan for the death of David Short who was killed after a gun and grenade attack in August while at home.

Mr Short was killed on August 10 in the Clayton area of Manchester.

In addition these crimes, Mr Cregan was being sought for questioning for the death of David Short’s son, Mark Short, who was shot and killed in May of this year.

Mark was killed in the Cotton Tree pub in the Droyslden area after being shot in the neck.

It was for these crimes that the police had issued a £50,000 reward for information leading to the arrests of Mr Cregan and an alleged accomplice. 

Huge images of Mr Cregan were broadcast in early September at a Manchester City football match.

The police had issued a warning to the public not to approach Mr Cregan if he was spotted, but instead to notify authorities.

Additional officers, among them specialist firearms officers, were stationed in the vicinity to assist with the hunt for Mr Cregan.

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Heywood said earlier this month: “We have got an awful lot of armed police on the street of Droylsden and Clayton and that will continue. There will be an awful lot of visits to his friends and family, they will continue.

“What I would like to do is get to a safe resolution where Mr Cregan understands that he has a number of options to consider and he needs to take one of those.”

More officials within the police force went on to comment.

President of the Association of Chief Police Officers, Sir Hugh Orde, said: “The death of two female police officers in Greater Manchester is deeply sad news for the police service. The two unarmed officers were responding to a routine call when faced with a dangerous and deadly situation.

“Whenever police officers and staff lose a colleague that loss is felt right across the police family. The thoughts of everyone in policing are with colleagues in Greater Manchester Police, family and friends of the two officers at this time.”

Paul McKeever, Chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “This is devastating news and our thoughts and prayers are with their families, friends and colleagues at this extremely difficult time.

“This tragedy makes us all stop and reflect on the very real dangers police officers face every day serving their local communities.

“These extremely courageous officers have sadly paid the ultimate price for their selfless actions and no words can express our regret nor comfort their families. The entire police service throughout the UK mourn their loss.”

Image via Getty.