The Anambra Police Command on Tuesday confirmed that one person died, while seven others sustained injuries when hoodlums tried to prevent its operatives from arresting fleeing criminals in Onitsha metropolis.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Haruna Mohammed, who confirmed the casualty figures, told the News Agency of Nigeria that the incident occurred at about 1pm at Obosi New Park, Onitsha.
“There was an intelligence report that some suspects who escaped from custody were seen at that place and the Police mobilised and went there to make arrests.
“They were, however, stopped by some hoodlums who attempted to disarm a policeman.
“The policeman tried to liberate himself from them, but they refused. So he had to use his firearm and, unfortunately, it hit one of them.
“The victim was rushed to a hospital but he was confirmed dead,” Mohammed said.
NAN reports that the hoodlums, who became angry at the death of the man, went on the rampage, blocking the Onitsha-Owerri road.
Although their activities disrupted vehicular movement for about 45 minutes, it took the intervention of reinforced Police team and the local security guards to disperse the rampaging hoodlums.
“So far, the area is calm and the Commissioner of Police has ordered an investigation to ascertain the cause of the incident,” Mohammed added.
The Police spokesman declined comment on whether the wanted criminals were later rearrested.