A former firearms officer will face prosecution for the murder of a man shot dead during a police operation.

Azelle Rodney was killed by the police marksman in Edgware in 2005 after officers stopped the car he was travelling in, believing he was on his way to carry out an armed robbery.

The officer is only known as E7 after he was granted anonymity during a public inquiry into the death of the 24-year-old, in Hale Lane.

After the three-month inquiry, the Independent Police Complaints Commission re-referred the incident to the Crown Prosecution service with new evidence.

Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders said: "We have carefully considered the new file of evidence submitted to us and have decided that a former Metropolitan Police officer, currently identified only as E7, will be prosecuted for murder.

She added: "The decision to prosecute was taken in accordance with the code for crown prosecutors.

“We have determined that there is a realistic prospect of conviction and that a prosecution is in the public interest.”

Reacting to the announcment, Mr Rodney's mother Susan Alexander said: "I am very pleased at the CPS's decision to prosecute the officer who killed my son.

"I have waited a long time to see this day and hope this prosecution will lead to justice for Azelle."

However she said she was disappointed the Metropolitan Police Commissioner would not face prosecution over the planning of the operation.

She said: "Whilst I am disappointed at the decision not to prosecute the commissioner in relation to the failures which were found by Sir Christopher Holland regarding the planning and control of the operation, his report makes clear that there were significant failures on the part of the Metropolitan Police and we deserve an immediate and unreserved apology for those failures."

Mr Rodney was killed almost instantly when he was struck by six bullets fired by a police marksman seconds after an unmarked car pulled up alongside the car he was travelling in.

The public enquiry led by Sir Christopher Holland, found police had "no lawful justification" for the shooting.

In a statement the Metropolitan Police said: "As criminal proceedings are now active, it would be inappropriate to comment further on this case at this time.

"The MPS runs firearms operations daily to take guns off the streets. Our officers are highly-trained and professional and fire shots only once or twice a year.

“We accept that where this happens, our officers will be subject to detailed scrutiny.

"We keep our firearms tactics constantly under review and have accepted the recommendations made by the public inquiry into Azelle Rodney's death."