In Manchester, England, two unarmed policewomen were shot dead on Tuesday. The killings are expected to kindle a long-running debate about unarmed police in Britain.
Prime Minister David Cameron described the shooting as "shocking" and offered his condolences, according to a Chicago Tribune report.
"The killing of two police officers in Manchester is a shocking reminder of the debt we owe to those who put themselves in danger to keep us safe and secure," he said in a statement.
One of the unarmed female police officers died at the scene and the other died later in a hospital.
The women were slain while investigating what was described as a "routine incident" in the north England city. Witnesses said that more than a dozen shots were fired and there were reports of an explosion.
The alleged shooter, Dale Cregan, 29, was wanted by police in connection to the murders of David Short in August and Short's son Mark, killed in a shooting at a pub in May. An outstanding 50,000 pound ($81,300) reward was offered for information leading to the arrest of Cregan.
In a 2005 incident, unarmed police constable Sharon Beshenivsky, 38, was shot dead and another female officer wounded while investigating an armed robbery. As then, the latest killing of female police officers is likely to set off a heated debate over whether Britain should arm its police.
British police officers, increasingly facing armed suspects, generally do not carry firearms. However every police department has armed units and some officers are allowed to carry electric Taser stun guns.