Passenger Wounded in Indiscriminate Police Shooting

The Namibian Police Force is again being accused of shooting and wounding a passenger in a vehicle on Saturday evening after the driver failed to stop while being pursued in Wanaheda.

According to Efraim Nicodemus, the driver of the vehicle, he did not see any roadblock that was erected, neither did he see any warning signs, while driving at about 20h40 but he heard shots being fired. His cousin, 23-year-old Vinho Shikongo who was in the passenger seat, immediately told him that he was hit.

According to Nicodemus, he immediately stopped his vehicle and police officers claiming to be police intelligence ordered them to leave the car.

“When the police came to where I stopped my vehicle, they came at us with guns blazing and one of them had a gun in his hand with smoke still coming from the barrel,” he narrated to New Era from the Katutura State Hospital where Shikongo is reportedly in a stable condition after the bullet was removed from his upper back.

“When I asked them why they shot at my car, I was informed that I ignored a roadblock,” Nicodemus said.

Khomas Regional Commander Commissioner Henrich Tjiveze confirmed the incident saying while details are still sketchy at the moment, he was informed that a routine police patrol observed the vehicle and suspected that it was involved in the commission of a crime.

Nicodemus said the police claim to have fired three warning shots in the air, but an inspection of the scene on Sunday morning only found two spent cartridges. He said that even though the police claim to have fired warning shots they aimed at the car.

This is not the first time that police are accused of indiscriminate shooting.

The last time a young nursing student, Martha Ilonga was fatally wounded when police opened fire on a suspected get-away vehicle, while Judge Christi Liebenberg will conduct an inquest this week into the shooting dead of “struggle” kid Frieda Ndatipo allegedly also by police.

Tjiveze said police based their suspicions on the manner in which the vehicle was driven and also that it did not have number plates.

Police then pursued with lights and siren on, but the driver failed to stop the vehicle, he said, adding that the police then fired three warning shots in the air and when the driver still did not stop, aimed at the tyres of the vehicle, but unfortunately missed and hit the vehicle instead.

While the police claim to have only shot at the vehicle once, pictures in New Era’s possession show that the vehicle was hit at least twice.

According to Tjiveze, investigations are ongoing.

Source : New Era