Woman shot during NamPol raid

14 Feb 2015 10:20am
WINDHOEK, 14 FEB (NAMPA) - A 20-year-old female nursing student is fighting for her life in the Katutura Intermediate Hospital, after she was shot in the head during a police raid in the Goreangab area here on Thursday.
The woman, who is a student at the Namibia Health Training Centre in Khomasdal, was seated at the back of a Polo Volkswagen sedan vehicle, with two other occupants and the driver when a Namibian Police Force (NamPol) officer allegedly fired a shot from his fire arm which struck the female in the head, behind the ear.
NamPol’s Inspector Slogan Matheus confirmed the incident to Nampa upon enquiry here on Friday.
He said a team of NamPol officers were in the middle of an investigation and were carrying out an operation when the incident happened.
The police was apparently on the look-out for a vehicle similar to the one the student nurse was driving in.
The vehicle had allegedly been involved in a robbery earlier in the week.
Matheus said when the vehicle stopped at a four-way stop in the Goreangab area, a police officer requested the driver to pull over but the driver instead drove off.
Police officers then pursued the vehicle and fire warning shots in the air, but the driver did not stop. The officer then fired a shot towards the wheels of the vehicle to bring it to a halt.
“The bullet that was aimed at the wheel of the car unfortunately struck the female victim who was seated at the back of the vehicle, behind her ear,” he said.
He added that the woman was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit and is in a serious and critical condition.
“The driver and the male passenger who was seated in the back of the vehicle with the victim were positively identified as the same suspects who were involved in the armed robbery last week, and were arrested. The vehicle was impounded because it was also the same vehicle used in the armed robbery,” he said.
The family of the victim however received a different version of the incident from an alleged eye witnesses at the scene.
Hence, they believe NamPol is trying to cover up the incident.
When Nampa spoke to one of the family members on Friday afternoon, he said eye witnesses informed him that no warning shots were fired during the incident.
The family member said the victim had only asked for a lift to be dropped off at home nearby in the Goreangab area, but police allegedly claimed that she was also a suspect in the armed robbery that took place last week - apparently because there were also females involved.
He said the victim’s family was aggrieved by the attitude of the police when they enquired on what transpired during the incident.
They were apparently told by the officers they spoke to that NamPol was not aware of the incident.
“We spoke to senior official at NamPol but he just said they did not hear of the incident. We also went to another officer at the serious crime unit to ask if the officer had been arrested yet but they just said they did not hear about the incident,” he said.
Matheus said the officer was on official duty when he shot the victim, and therefore he has not been arrested.
“A case of attempted murder has however been opened against the officer and an internal investigation will be conducted before the docket is forwarded to the Prosecutor General for a decision,” he added.