Police Officer Faces Attempted Murder Charge

A SWAKOPMUND police officer, who shot a domestic violence suspect in the foot on Saturday during a wrestle for his service pistol, could face a charge of attempted murder.

According to well-placed sources, Constable Paul Van Biljon was called to attend to an incident at a house in Mondesa where the suspect had allegedly been kicked out by his girlfriend. The suspect, who was allegedly intoxicated, had retaliated by threatening to hurt his girlfriend.

When Van Biljon apprehended the suspect and attempted to force him into the waiting police van, the suspect allegedly grabbed the officer’s loaded service pistol in an attempt to disarm him.

“The policeman had to leave everything else and grapple with the suspect to make sure the suspect did not get hold of the gun. It is a dangerous situation when an intoxicated person grabs a loaded gun. He could shoot and kill the police officer or any civilian,” the source explained.

While the two were wrestling for the pistol, a shot went off, with a bullet hitting the suspect’s left foot.

A civilian intervened to stop the chaos and this allowed the suspect to flee into the house where he armed himself with an iron bar with which he allegedly intended to assault Van Biljon.

“The two were in a stand-off one with an iron bar and the other with a gun with the officer ordering the suspect to drop the bar,” said the source.

In the meantime, police reinforcement arrived and the suspect was arrested. Van Biljon also realised then that he had injured his left arm during the wrestle for the gun.

The suspect was expected to make his first appearance in the Swakopmund Magistrate’s Court yesterday facing a charge of obstructing the course of justice and assaulting a police officer on duty. Van Biljon could face attempted murder charges.

Acting Regional Crime Investigations Coordinator Erastus Iikyu confirmed the incident and said that the police have launched an investigation.

Source : The Namibian