A man in his 20s is fighting for his life in hospital after being shot by police during a dramatic stand-off in east London.

The shooting happened just before 11pm yesterday when officers responded to reports of an armed robbery at a house in Hackney.

A witness said armed police crouched behind cars with guns aimed at the three-storey townhouse, while others were in place down the road.

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“I looked at the window, there was someone at the window and he was looking down at the police and he didn’t want the police to go inside,” a neighbour told The Guardian.

“They were screaming and shouting at him and after a couple of minutes I heard gunshots – bang bang bang, bang bang bang – and then they went inside.”

Police were outside the house for around an hour before opening fire, he added.

The victim, thought to be in his early 20s, was taken to Royal London Hospital and is in a critical, but stable condition.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct has launched an investigation and dispatched investigators to the scene.

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