The police in Imo State, South-east Nigeria, said they have killed a suspected armed robber in the state.
The police spokesperson in the state, Henry Okoye, disclosed this in a press conference at the Police Command Headquarters on Saturday.
A video clip of the press conference was also posted on Facebook.
Mr Okoye, an assistant superintendent of police, said the slain suspect was part of a five-man criminal gang that robbed a shop at Ikenegbu Area of Owerri, the state capital, earlier on Saturday.
The police spokesperson said two other members of the gang were arrested by police operatives.
He gave the names of the arrested suspects as Peter Gaura, 27, an indigene of Kogi State and Joshua Promise, 25, who hails from Delta State.
Mr Gaura, one of the suspects, is a dismissed soldier, the police said.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt that two other members of the gang escaped.
‘How the killing, arrest happened’
Mr Okoye said the arrest of the two suspects and killing of one of them followed a distress call at about 1:00 p.m. that the hoodlums were robbing a shop in the area.
The police spokesperson said the suspects, armed with sophisticated weapons and numbering about seven, operated in white Toyota Hilux truck with its number plate covered.
He said the Commissioner of Police in the state, Ahmed Barde, consequently “mobilised and personally” led the tactical team of the police to the scene of the attack.
“The hoodlums, on sighting the police operatives, immediately opened fire but were overwhelmed by the dexterity showcased by the operatives as well as the superior fire power of the operatives which forced these hoodlums to flee with various degrees of gunshot injuries,” he said.
“In the process (during the shoot-out), one of them was gunned down while the two suspects that we paraded today were arrested,” Mr Okoye added.
Two pump action guns, four locally made pistols with eight rounds of live cartridges and one expended cartridge were among the items recovered from the suspects, according to the police.
Others were two pairs of military underwear, two pairs of special forces’ underwear, face masks, school bags, pieces of jewelry worth millions of naira, and the truck used by the suspects in the robbery.
Mr Okoye said the body of the slain suspect was immediately deposited at a morgue while the other two suspects arrested by the operatives were being investigated.
“Certainly, they would be arraigned upon completion of diligent investigation by the command’s tactical team,” he said of the arrested suspects.
The Commissioner of Police in Imo State, Mr Barde, commended the operatives for successfully tracking down the hoodlums, Mr Okoye said.
The police commissioner urged the operatives to sustain the fight against criminals in the state.
He enjoined residents of the state to continue to support the police with “actional intelligence” that will help the police in tracking down more crime suspects in the state.
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