The partner of slain Kiwi cop Matiu Ratana has paid tribute to her "gentle giant", after the London police officer was shot and killed inside a police station.
The 54-year-old sergeant was shot in the chest multiple times by a handcuffed man in Croydon Custody Centre, South London, in the early hours of Saturday.
Ratana, who hails from Hawke's Bay and worked five years for Auckland Police, was approaching the shooter to perform a Covid-19 temperature test when he was shot at point-blank range.
In a statement released by the Metropolitan Police, his partner Su Bushby said: "There aren't really any words for how I am feeling right now about the loss of Matt; about losing someone I loved, and was so close to, in such a tragic manner.
"I know Matt touched many, many people's lives with his friendliness, patience, kindness, enthusiasm and caring ways.
"I had the pleasure of sharing five years of my life with this lovely man - my gentle giant, with his infectious smile and big heart. I think of him with tenderness and love."
"Matt was my partner, friend, confidant, support and soul mate.
"He will be greatly missed but never forgotten. Matt will always be in my head and in my heart. "
The suspect in the killing of the veteran Kiwi Metropolitan Police sergeant was named yesterday as Louis De Zoysa.
The 23-year-old, who is believed to have then shot himself, remains in a critical condition in hospital, with police saying they haven't yet been able to talk to him as part of their murder investigation.
Community leaders in the London suburb of Croydon paid tribute to him in a video shared on social media.
Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle invited MPs to pay their respect in the Commons, paying his own tribute to the much-loved officer.
He said: "I am sure all honourable members will wish to join me in paying their respects to Police Sergeant Matt Ratana, who was killed in the course of duty on Friday, and sending our condolences to his family.
"Yesterday was National Police Memorial Day, and I ask all honourable members to stand and observe a minute's silence to mark that occasion and to remember Matt Ratana."
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick earlier said that Ratana was an "extraordinary person".
She said the "terrible" death of an officer was who was "very good at his job" might help the public to "see us police as who we are – human beings, going to work to help people, to support people and to protect people", adding that: "Matt was the epitome of that."