Metro & Crime

Day mentally ill inspector embarked on killing spree

Sunday’s shooting of nine people, with five dead on the spot, by a policeman suspected to be suffering from mental illness, has continued to send shock waves across Enugu, Enugu State. While some of the victims were those living or working in the compound where the policeman was guarding, others were passers-by and neighbours who were merely at the wrong place at the wrong time. The incident occurred at Golf Estate, GRA, Enugu. The police inspector is attached to the Special Protection Unit (SPU) Base 9, Umuahia, Abia State. The inspector, said to be on a special duty in Enugu State, allegedly started shooting sporadically, killing and inflicting injuries on people.

The policeman is believed to be guarding the residence of the boss of RC Loto firm, who was said to have travelled at the time of the incident. The police officer, sources said, was a psychiatric patient, who was treated for mental illness some time ago. The sources disclosed that it was not clear what triggered a relapse, leading to him embarking on the shooting and killing spree. Wife of one of the victims, Mrs. Oluchi Orji, whose husband, Orji, was killed by the policeman, said she travelled on Friday for a burial, but was called by neighbours prompting her to return home on Sunday evening.

Oluchi said she was told by a witness that her husband was in the house, which shares a common fence with the compound where the policeman was guarding, when everyone heard sporadic gunshots. When the gunshots suddenly stopped as it had started, her husband went out to buy detergent in order to wash their children’s clothes. She said: “He was on his way back when he saw the policeman.

He innocently asked the policeman the cause of the shooting in the next building, but the policeman just opened fire on him. My husband started running, holding his wounded stomach, desperately trying to prevent his intestines from gushing out. The policeman continued releasing more shots on him until he slumped and died.” Another witness said that another female passer-by suffered the same fate.

The lady was shot dead by the policeman along the street when she innocently asked him about the shooting in the compound he was guarding. This was happening after the policeman had killed those inside the compound he was guarding. The Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, later visited the injured at the Enugu State University Hospital (ESUTH) Parklane, Enugu, where they were receiving treatment. The governor expressed shock over the dastardly act. Ugwuanyi was received at the hospital by the Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Ndatsu Aliyu, and the Chief Medical Director, ESUTH, Prof. Hycient Onah.

The state Commissioner for Information, Chidi Aroh, said the governor empathised with the victims and wished them quick recovery. He also condoled with the families of the deceased. Ugwuanyi announced that the state government would pay all the medical expenses, and would also deposit some money with the hospital to ensure that all that was required to treat the patients would be provided.

The governor charged the hospital’s management to ensure that the victims receive adequate medical attention. Also, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Daniel Ndukwe, disclosed in a statement that the police officer had been arrested and taken into custody pending the conclusion of investigation.

He said: “Four of the people said to have sustained gunshot injuries were receiving treatment, while others, whose injuries were critical, have been confirmed dead by doctors on duty and deposited in the mortuary, awaiting autopsy.” Ndukwe added that the Commissioner, Aliyu, had ordered the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), incharge of the State Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Department (SCIID), to carry out a thorough investigation to unravel the circumstances surrounding the shooting and killing

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