19/11/2011 05:12 GMT | Updated 19/01/2012 05:12 GMT

Mark Duggan Unarmed: Reports Claim Man Wasn't Carrying Gun

An investigation into the death of Mark Duggan who was shot dead by police, triggering a series of riots across the country, has found no forensic evidence that he was carrying a gun, it has been reported.

The claim was made by the Guardian newspaper, but Scotland Yard said it would be "premature" to draw any conclusions about the findings of the investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) into the incident in Tottenham. north London, on August 4.

The Guardian said a gun collected by Mr Duggan earlier in the day was recovered 10 to 14ft away, on the other side of a low fence from his body, and that he was killed outside the vehicle he was travelling in, after a police marksman fired twice.

On the day Mr Duggan was shot, there is overwhelming evidence he had obtained a firearm, but the investigation is considering whether he had the weapon in his possession when he was shot, the Guardian said.

A statement from Scotland Yard said: "The MPS (Metropolitan Police Service) is aware of an article published online by the Guardian on 18 November in which a number of assertions are made in relation to the IPCC investigation into the death of Mark Duggan.

"We believe the Guardian's headline is inaccurate and misleading based on what is known at this time and will be making this point in the strongest possible terms to the newspaper.

"The article, and especially its headline, states as fact issues that are subject to an ongoing investigation by the IPCC, and we would reiterate that it is premature to draw any conclusions about its findings."

IPCC commissioner Rachel Cerfontyne said: "The ongoing IPCC investigation into the death of Mark Duggan is examining a range of issues. We are providing updates and, where possible, answers to the family of Mr Duggan."

Mr Duggan's death in Tottenham, north London, was the trigger for the first of four nights of riots that spread from the capital across England.

Initial reports that Mr Duggan shot at police were dismissed by ballistic tests which later found that a bullet which lodged itself in one officer's radio was police issue.