BY EVELYN USMAN
LAGOS — Five suspected members of a notorious robbery gang said to have been terrorizing Lagos State were shot dead early yesterday during a shoot-out with operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad SARS, Ikeja, Lagos.
Preliminary investigation, according to Police sources, revealed that the robbers were responsible for the killing of the manager of 04 Hotel and three other staff in Ajah, last week.
During the operation at the hotel, the hoodlums were said to have accused the manager and staff of the hotel of giving the police information about their gang which led to the arrest of their leader.
However, other suspected members of the gang met their waterloo during a multiple operation, yesterday, in the process of which two policemen were reportedly killed.
Report had it that the gang first stormed Ajah area of Lagos at about 1am,where they snatched a Honda Odyssey space bus.
From there, they reportedly headed for Ajao estate. Midway, they reportedly shot two policemen who were on patrol in Ebute Metta area. One of the policemen, according to police sources, died while the other was rushed to the hospital.
At Ajao Estate, the gang was said to have operated at a warehouse where telephones and electronic gadgets were kept. On their way out, they reportedly engaged a team of policemen on distress call to the scene, killing one of them.
When news of the shoot-out reached the Commissioner of Police, Mr Umar Manko, he was said to have deployed a team of policemen from SARS led by the commander, Mr Abba Kyari to the scene.
The operatives reportedly trailed the robbers to stadium area of Surulere at about 4 am, where they engaged them in a gun duel.
Vanguard gathered that the robbers kept driving on top speed and at the same time firing at the operatives, heading towards the Island .
“Three of them were shot dead in the process. Driver of the vehicle was hit but he kept moving until they reached Eko bridge. At that point, the vehicle somersaulted. Three of them managed to get out of the car and escaped with bullet wounds while five of them lay dead,” Police sources said.
The bodies of the dead suspects were sighted at the command’s headquarters, Ikeja, yesterday.