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22 July 2017

La Paz shooting: Deceased Policeman, colleague were unarmed – Interior Minister

The Interior Minister says the two police officers who were shot by armed robbers during a car theft at La Paz in Accra last Thursday were not armed.

Ambrose Dery told Joy News’ Beatrice Adu Wednesday, the two officers were on their way to discharge a community assignment when they were attacked and shot at by the robbers.

Related Article: Police officer dies in Lapaz car snatching shooting incident

He explained per arrangement by the Police Administration, officers on community assignments are not to be armed.

The two armed men on their expedition

“We do not arm them in this situation because you don’t want them to be alienated from the public,” the Minister told the reporter.

Two police officers were shot after they tried to arrest two men riding an unregistered motorbike. After mounting a chase, the men on the motorbike suddenly removed a gun and opened fire at the police men. One was shot in the hand but managed to escape from danger. The other, Daniel Owusu, suffered multiple shots and was pronounced dead at the Police hospital. The men later went ahead to snatch an unregistered Ash Hyundai Elantra saloon vehicle at La Paz. 

The incident threw the town into a state of shock

Related Article: 15 arrested over Lapaz police killing

Following a tip-off, the police arrested six Nigerians and nine Ghanaians from their hideouts at Ablekuma, Olebu and Kasoa in connection with the attack.

Parliament’s Defense and Interior Committee member, Ernest Henry Norgbey

A member of Parliament’s Defense and Interior Committee, Ernest Henry Norgbey blamed the death on poor logistics.

He told Joy News last Friday the gun used by the victim failed to fire, exposing him to danger.

Related Article: Lapaz shooting: Police officer’s gun was not working – MP alleges

But the Interior Minister has described that as misinformation, saying the police officers had no gun on them.

A statement by the police administration on the incident

Although the police are faced with logistical challenges, Mr Dery said that was not the reason why the officers were not armed.

He said part of the grants secured by Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia from the Chinese government, will be used to drive the “police transformation agenda.”

“It is not only for equipping the police force but to create special units,” he said, adding “it is a holistic thing.”

In another development, Mr Dery has revealed about 90 percent of the guns used for armed robbery activities are locally manufactured.

He lamented how “sadly efforts by previous governments to introduce alternative sources of livelihood for the gun manufacturers has not yielded any result.”

The Minister charged the police administration to do everything within its power to retrieve the arms being used by armed groups.

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