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Stray bullets kill 2 in Enugu

By Tony Edike

ENUGU—TWO persons were killed in Enugu Tuesday evening by stray bullets fired by policemen in an attempt to arrest a young man, who allegedly wounded one Pastor Duke Utondu of 23 Ochi Street, Achara Layout, Enugu.

One of the victims, who met his untimely death in the bizarre incident was a 25 year-old trader at Timber Market, Maryland, Enugu identified as Augustine  Obe from Amachalla, Enugu-Ezike in Igboeze North Local Government Area of Enugu State.

The identity of the second victim said to be an Okada rider could not be immediately ascertained.

Two other victims are lying critically at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, following severe wounds they received from the gunshots, which the police said were fired in an attempt to demobilize the suspect,  identified as Mr. Obiora Utondu.

The five trigger-happy policemen, one of who received several machete cuts from the suspect were attached to the Uwani Police Divisional Headquarters, Enugu.

An eye-witness said that the incident occurred along Ochi Street in Achara Layout within Enugu metropolis, when the victims were returning from the day’s business and ran into the scene of the police shooting.

The five-man team of policemen led by one Assistant Superintendent of Police, Ituma Ituma had gone to arrest a suspect at Ochi Street, following complaints from Pastor Utondu, who was allegedly beaten up and seriously wounded by the suspect, said to be his relation.  The suspect was said to have resisted arrest and instead engaged the policemen in a fight during which he gave a Police Corporal a deep machete cut on the arm and went further to stab him in the stomach.

The State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Ebere Amaraizu, who confirmed the incident yesterday, said the police tried to demobilize the suspect by firing at him but the stray bullet hit the victims even though he said only Obe was officially reported to have died as a result of the gunshot wound he sustained.  One of the bullets from the sporadic shooting hit the young Obe at the chest, killing him instantly.

Although reports said the suspect succeeded in escaping arrest, the police spokesman told Vanguard that five persons arrested in connection with the incident were already being interrogated by the police.


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