LONDON - The Brazilian man killed by police was shot eight times by undercover officers who thought he was a suicide bomber.
The death of Jean Charles de Menezes, an electrician with no connection to bombings in London, has deeply embarrassed the Metropolitan Police and strained diplomatic relations between Britain and Brazil.
Ministers also faced anger last night over reported claims by Government sources that Menezes may have been living illegally in Britain because his student visa had expired. The suggestion was strongly disputed by the dead man's family and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said he believed Menezes was in the country legally.
Prime Minister Tony Blair said he was desperately sorry for the death, but stressed the police faced very difficult circumstances. "It is important that we support the police in doing the job they have to do in order to protect people in this country."
Straw made an unreserved apology to Brazil and said a claim from Menezes' family for compensation would be treated "sympathetically and quickly".