An off-duty policeman who paid with his life after intervening in a "deadly situation" has been praised for his bravery.

Pc Ian Dibell was killed after attending an address in Clacton, Essex. He was shot dead by a gunman who also injured a member of the public.

As the sequence of events began to emerge, Essex Police Chief Constable Jim Barker-McCardle told a press conference at the force's Chelmsford headquarters that Pc Dibell was a "brave, respected and experienced neighbourhood officer".

Mr Barker-McCardle said the officer had "deliberately intervened in what he knew was an extremely deadly situation", adding: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of our brave, fallen colleague."

Police have named the alleged gunman as Peter Reeve, described as white, aged 64, about 5ft 10in with short greyish hair and issued a photograph of him.

A spokesman added: "He was wearing jeans and possibly with glasses. He comes from the Clacton area."

Police launched the manhunt after Pc Dibell, 41, was shot in Redbridge Road, Clacton, at 3.30pm on Monday

Mr Barker-McCardle said armed response units were deployed to begin a search for the suspect.

Local officers have been deployed to protect the public and maintain a strong presence.

The chief constable said: "Policing is a family and we are all hurting. This dreadful event reminds us all that policing is a mission that ultimately some die for. We will not rest until his killer is found."