Police opened fire on a vehicle outside the Ukrainian embassy in west London after the driver deliberately and repeatedly rammed into the official car of the country’s UK ambassador.

An official statement from the embassy said officers were called to the scene in the Holland Park area on Saturday morning and attempted to block the offending vehicle, but it continued to hit the car parked outside.

It was also driven at police officers, which the embassy said forced them “to open fire on the perpetrator’s vehicle”.

The Ukrainian embassy said an arrest had been made
Image: The Ukrainian embassy said an arrest had been made

Scotland Yard confirmed that a man in his 40s was arrested at the scene and taken to a central London hospital as a precaution, following the use of firearms and a taser.

The ambassador, Natalia Galibarenko, was not at the embassy at the time and no other staff were injured.

Police said the man they arrested also suffered no injuries and that the incident is not being treated as terror-related.

Damage is visible to the driver-side front window of a silver Mercedes car
Image: Damage is visible to the driver-side front window of a silver Mercedes car

Chief Superintendent Andy Walker, from the Met’s specialist firearms command, said: “As is standard procedure, an investigation is now ongoing into the discharge of a police firearm during this incident.

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“While this takes place, I would like to pay tribute to the officers involved this morning who responded swiftly to this incident and put themselves in harm’s way, as they do every day, to keep the people of London safe.”

Police at the scene in Holland Park. Pic: Roni Greenfield
Image: Police at the scene in Holland Park. Pic: Roni Greenfield

One witness, who works at a nearby shop, said she heard shots fired twice. She added that officers arrived “very quick” and saw “many police cars coming”.

Officers have remained at the scene during the day, with a silver Mercedes car pictured parked across a street with its boot open and damage to the driver-side front window.

Forensics officers are at the scene
Image: Forensics officers at the scene

The vehicle has been a focus of attention for forensics officers.

Meanwhile, the directorate of professional standards, which investigates complaints against the professional conduct of officers in the Met, has been informed of the incident.

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