Police shot at wrong car during McDonald's gang arrests
Nobody is believed to have been injured during the shooting in Arbroath.
Armed police fired two shots at the wrong car during a confrontation with gang members in a McDonald's car park in Angus.
Marksmen shot out the tyres of a Mercedes being driven by the gang as they tried to flee the restaurant in Arbroath on September 30 last year.
An inquiry found the shooting was justified as the gang had a "history of extreme violence" and had used stolen vehicles to ram police cars and escape in the past.
The investigation also revealed that during the incident officers fired two tyre deflation rounds at another vehicle "mistakenly thought to be involved".
The gang was this week convicted of stealing hundreds of thousands of pounds from cash machines after blowing them up with explosive gas.
High-powered cars including Audi RS4s and Mercedes A45 were then used as getaway vehicles.
The authorities finally caught up with five members of the gang in February 2016 and confronted them in a McDonald's car park following a raid in Carnoustie, Angus.
When the gang tried to ram one of their Mercedes into a police car, officers fired three rounds into its wheels to disable it.
'During the incident, two rounds were discharged at another vehicle which was mistakenly thought to be involved with the earlier theft.'Pirc report
In its report, the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) noted: "During the incident, two further rounds were also discharged at another vehicle which was mistakenly thought to be involved with the earlier theft."
The wrongly-targeted car is understood to have been a Vauxhall Insignia. Nobody is believed to have been injured in the shooting.
PIRC commissioner Kate Frame said: "The police response, to what was a significant threat to public safety and the officers themselves, was wholly justified.
"They had reliable intelligence to indicate they were dealing with suspects who had access to firearms, a history of extreme violence and who had previously used high-powered stolen vehicles to ram police vehicles and escape.
"When the suspects then used the same dangerous tactic to try and avoid arrest during this incident, the use of tyre deflation rounds to disable their vehicle was not only necessary but proportionate."
The gang are due to be sentenced in April.