The fatal shooting of a Bradford dad has baffled and confused folk who knew him only as a good neighbour.

Colin Berry, father of three young children, died after unarmed police arrived at his Clayton home to carry out a search for drugs on Thursday lunchtime.

It is thought there was a struggle, during which a firearm went off and killed Mr Berry.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission yesterday launched an investigation into the early shooting at the detached house in Buckingham Crescent which fatally wounded 49-year-old Mr Berry.

Ian and Pauline Price run the White Barn animal feed centre, set in fields directly opposite number 63 where Mr Berry lived with his wife and three school-age daughters.

“He would often walk up the lane to us holding hands with one of his daughters and he was always friendly and chatty,” Mr Price said.

“He kept pigeons and his children had a rabbit, so he would come and buy food from us and we’d always have a bit of a talk, about the weather and such.

“But one time we were talking about how tough things are and I remember he said he’d sold one of his properties, so I guess he owned other places,” Mr Price said.

Mrs Price said she would see him out with his Rhodesian Ridgeback dog at odd hours and although pleasant, the family did not come out on their own.

“His children never just played out, he was always with them and his wife kept herself very much to herself,” she said.

“But he seemed nice enough. He was a muscular looking bloke who carried himself as if he’d been in the army, a bit of a body-builder with tattoos,” Mrs Price said.

“And he was a real animal lover – he once asked me to print him off some photos we’d taken of hedgehogs on our land,” she added.

But they had no idea what Mr Berry did for work apart from doing something with security, an impression shared by other neighbours.

One pensioner said he had once explained keeping odd hours.

“He told me he worked in security and that would come home at about 4am and then take his dog Rommel for a walk.

“He was always very nice and friendly. I know he went to a couple of village meetings a few years ago, but he wasn’t really involved in the Clayton community. However he seemed decent enough. I trusted him and would tell him when I was away so he could keep an eye on my house. Whatever the reason behind it, this is a terribly sad thing to have happened for that family.”

But further down Buckingham Crescent, one resident said Mr Berry’s house and lifestyle struck her as odd and out of keeping.

“There were always lots of vans and cars there that never seemed to move and the curtains and blinds were always drawn.

“Also the house was covered with security cameras – at least three.

“Nobody else around here has those; it’s a very nice quiet area.

“But, that said, whenever I bumped into him in the street he was always friendly and polite,” she said.

The IPCC yesterday released a statement saying: “Events that led up to a man being shot dead during a police raid in West Yorkshire are to be independently investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

“A 49-year-old man died at his home in Buckingham Crescent in the Clayton area of Bradford on April 4. Unarmed officers from West Yorkshire Police were at the house to execute a drugs warrant.

“An IPCC investigator was deployed to the scene following a referral from the force. The IPCC is also liaising with members of the deceased man’s family. He has yet to be formally identified.

“A post mortem examination was due to be held on Friday, 5 April.”