THE Romsey mother of a man who was shot dead by police has spoken out for the first time, saying she is "still reeling".

Spencer Ashworth, 29, grew up in Romsey and was fatally wounded by Avon and Somerset Police armed officers on the A369 Portbury Hundred in Portishead in September last year.

He was travelling along the M5 southbound, and police responded to calls that he had threatened another driver with a handgun.

After coming off the M5 at junction 19, police began shooting at Spencer Ashworth's car, fatally wounding him with bullet holes seen through the back windscreen and side door.

Now, his mother Yvonne Maunder, who lives in Romsey, said that the entire family was "still reeling" 12 months on.

She said: "Spencer was our beloved son, he had a gentle nature and was a sensitive and compassionate lad.

"As he matured he struggled with depression and anxiety from around 18, he left home at age 23 and sadly we heard less and less from him as he seemed to struggle with his issues.

"We all missed him terribly – he left a huge void in our family".

About an hour before firing, West Mercia Police received reports of a man pointing a gun at another motorist near junction 8 of the M5 on September 27.

Then, having travelled south, police stopped Mr Ashworth's vehicle, a red Suzuki Swift, on the Portbury Hundred, with four authorised officers from Avon and Somerset Police shooting at the car.

A non-police issue firearm was found at the scene, with pictures from the aftermath showing what appeared to be a handgun on the roof of the Suzuki.

His mother Yvonne added: "Our entire family are still reeling from the shock of Spencer's tragic death and would ask for complete privacy now around the time of the forthcoming coroner's court proceedings. Our next statement will be at the conclusion of the coroner's court."

There were at least four bullet holes in the offside of the vehicle and the driver's side front window was smashed.

Blood and glass could be seen on the ground near the hatchback.

Witnesses said police fired into the car a number of times before pulling a man out and attempting to resuscitate him.

A post-mortem examination found that Mr Ashworth, who worked as a courier and was originally from Southampton, died from gunshot injuries.

At an opening inquest last year, Avon Coroner Maria Voisin heard that Mr Ashworth was of no fixed address but his last known address was in Portishead, Somerset.