#419747 - 15th Jul 201012:31pmRaoul Moat Analysis Of Audio Recorded
Analysis of audio recorded during the Raoul Moat stand-off has suggested three shots were fired in the space of around three seconds.
Forensic experts say the sounds are consistent with the controversial XREP tasers discharged by two police officers, and the shotgun fired by Moat.
Although the order in which the weapons were fired remains unclear, this analysis gives the first indication of the frantic few seconds which led to the fugitive's death.
The footage captured by a Sky News cameraman in the early hours of last Saturday was recorded around 100 metres from Moat's position on the river bank.
The audio was examined by two leading forensic consultants, firearms specialist David Dyson, and audio analyst Iain McArthur.
Once the recording was enhanced they were able to pick out three separate sounds, all of which were consistent with either a shotgun or a shotgun-based taser.
The first shot is fired shortly after Sky correspondent James Matthews noticed an increase in police activity.
He is heard on the tape saying: "You thinking it's over mate?"
A colleague replies: "I think it's over... they put some lights on a minute ago and now the copper that was standing there has just ******** off."
Moments later, the first crack is heard, although it appears journalists on the ground were only aware of the second crack which followed shortly after.
The third crack is the most muffled on the tape.
According to Mr McArthur this may be due to the increase in noise coming from the police at the scene combined with the commotion among journalists.
Despite one of the shots sounding louder than the other two, the experts warned it would be unwise to use this to differentiate between the tasers and Moat's shotgun.
According to Mr McArthur, the perceived volume of the shots would have been affected by the direction of the camera's microphone, the surroundings and the weather.
"It could be easy to think that one single noise was the shotgun that Raoul Moat killed himself with, but depending on where each of these weapons are, the trees and foliage could severely dampen the sounds," the expert said.
"This would change your perception of which is the most prominent or even the closest weapon."
Commenting on the same issue, Mr Dyson said: "As a principle I would expect the sawn-off shotgun to make a louder bang... but there are so many other factors that could affect this."
The analysis also identified loud shouting coming from police officers after shots were fired.
At one point they appear to be saying: "Get the gun away from him, get the gun away."
In addition to the noise coming from officers and police dogs, there appears to be a more ambiguous screaming which may have come from Moat himself.
The rapid succession with which the shot sounds appear to follow each other will inevitably raise questions about whether a spasm induced by the taser caused Moat to pull the trigger.
However, according to Mr Dyson that would not necessarily be the case, as some individuals react by opening the palms of their hands.
On Tuesday, the Independent Police Complaints Commission confirmed that two officers from West Yorkshire police discharged XREP tasers.
The weapons have yet to receive authorisation from the Home Office.
At the same time Coroner Mr David Mitford confirmed that Moat died as a result of a gunshot wound to the head.
An investigation by the IPCC is now underway and it has asked to examine the Sky News footage.
The police officer shot by Moat, PC David Rathband, has described the moment he was shot.