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The partner of Matt Ratana, the police sergeant who died after being shot inside a custody centre in south London, has paid tribute to her "gentle giant".
In a statement, 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.
Mother of sergeant's partner tells of heartbreak after he was shot
EXCLUSIVE: Sue Bushby's mother today told how Matiu Ratana had been a pillar of strength for her daughter after she lost her father Roy earlier this year. Mrs Bushby, 81, added it is difficult for the pair to 'accept that we will never see him again' after Mr Ratana, 54, was shot at point-blank range in the line of duty on Friday. Speaking to MailOnline, she said: 'He was a very lovely man. He loved my daughter and she loved him back in the same way.'He couldn't do enough for us or anybody who needed help. He recently called round with something for my TV and was his usual smiling self.
"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."
Sgt Ratana, 54, was allegedly shot by 23-year-old Louis De Zoysa at Croydon Custody Centre in the early hours of Friday.
The suspect, who remains in hospital in a critical condition and has not been spoken to by detectives, is from Norbury, south London.
De Zoysa was apparently handcuffed behind his back when he allegedly opened fire and investigators say he then shot himself. No police weapons were fired and the case is not being treated as terror-related.
Sgt Matt Ratana's partner tells of 'losing her soul mate'
Sue Bushby spoke of how her partner Matt Ratana 'touched many, many people's lives with his friendliness, patience, kindness, enthusiasm and caring ways.'Experienced custody sergeant Mr Ratana, 54, was shot dead by a handcuffed suspect in the early hours of Friday at a custody suite in Croydon, south London.
A man in Norwich has been arrested in connection with the incident, on suspicion of supplying a firearm.
Sgt Ratana was originally from Hawke's Bay on New Zealand's North Island, but had served in the Metropolitan Police for much of his career.
He is the eighth officer in the UK to be shot dead in the last 20 years.
Friends and teammates of the officer, who was a popular head coach at East Grinstead Rugby Club, gathered in tribute over the weekend to the "irreplaceable" and "incredibly generous" man.
His cousin Adrian Rurawhe described him as an "awesome person" who "loved being a police officer".
Dame Cressida added: "He was very well known locally. And he will be remembered so fondly in Croydon and missed there, as well as in the Met and the rugby world."
New Zealand’s UK diplomat visits scene of Sgt Matt Ratana death ahead of inquest .
Bede Corry joined Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick to pay his respects at a makeshift shrine in the grounds of Croydon Custody Centre.Bede Corry joined Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick to pay his respects at a makeshift shrine in the grounds of Croydon Custody Centre, where New Zealand-born Sgt Ratana – also known as Matiu – was fatally wounded in the early hours of Friday.