Student nurse shot by police, dies

19 Feb 2015 15:50pm
WINDHOEK, 19 FEB (NAMPA) – The 20-year-old female nursing student who was shot in the head during a police raid in the Goreangab residential area last week, died on Thursday morning.
Martha Iyambo was a student at the Namibia Health Training Centre in Khomasdal. She was seated in the back of a Polo Volkswagen sedan vehicle with two other persons and the driver when a Namibian Police Force (NamPol) officer fired a shot at the vehicle, striking her behind the left ear last Thursday.
She was rushed to the Katutura Intermediate Hospital where she was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit in a critical condition. However, her health deteriorated as the bullet was never removed.
NamPol Inspector Slogan Matheus told Nampa upon enquiry last Friday that police officers were carrying out an operation when the incident happened.
The police were on the look-out for a vehicle similar to the one in which the student nurse was driving, because a vehicle of that nature had allegedly been involved in a robbery the previous 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 fired warning shots into the air, but the driver did not stop. An officer then fired a shot towards the wheels of the vehicle to bring it to a halt.
“The bullet unfortunately struck the female victim who was seated at the back of the vehicle,” he said.
The vehicle stopped and the driver and the male passenger, who was also seated in the back of the vehicle, were positively identified as suspects in the armed robbery last week and were arrested. The vehicle was impounded because it was the same vehicle used in the armed robbery,” said Matheus.
The family of the victim, however, received a different version of events, and they believe NamPol is trying to cover up the incident.
A family member, who asked not to be named, told Nampa last Friday that eye witnesses informed him that no warning shots were fired during the incident.
He denied police claims that Iyambo was also a suspect in the armed robbery, as apparently there were females involved, noting that she had only asked for a ride home.
The relative further said the victim’s family was aggrieved by the attitude of the police when they enquired about the shooting incident.
“We spoke to a 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 he too said he did not hear about the incident,” said the family member.
Matheus said the officer was on official duty when he shot the victim, and therefore had not been arrested.
He said a case of attempted murder was opened against the officer and an internal investigation will be conducted before the docket is forwarded to the Prosecutor-General for a decision.
The deceased's uncle, Iita Jeremia on Sunday said the family will seek legal advice and even approach the Office of the Ombudsman on the matter.