Buchanan Street Residents in Central Monrovia have accused riot officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) of innocently murdering one of their neighbors.
Papa Dukuly, 28, was reportedly shot early Saturday by armed men representing the Police Support Unit of the LNP.
According to Police sources, the man was pronounced dead upon arrival at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Sinkor, following the shooting incident.
The residents, also eyewitnesses, said the victim was shot by the police, while celebrating his 28th birth anniversary with ‘friends’ in the community.
Another account informed the Daily Observer that one of the police officers hastily disembarked an operation vehicle and quickly fired into the gathering of the merrymakers on account that they were in pursuit of an armed robber, whose victim they claimed to have rescued earlier.
The eyewitnesses said their comportment in resisting an effort by the police to take away the body further generated huge tension, thus leading to the arrival of the LNP’s backup force.
Some of the residents, who became angry after the incident said, “we were afraid that taking away the corpse would result to tampering with evidence. We want to dismiss reports that the late Papa Dukuly was a criminal. Dukuly had been a caretaker of a public latrine in central Monrovia.”
Police spokesman Moses Carter said police fired while attempting to rescue a victim of an armed robbery on Carey Street in the early hours of December 1, but the officers were attacked by marauding men welding deadly weapons.
Carter said, “The men, who were carrying cutlasses, knives and other deadly weapons attacked the responding officers, at which time a tussle ensued between the alleged criminals and the officers.”
During this process, Mr. Carter said the weapon got discharged and one of the thugs identified as Papa, got hit and was immediately rushed to the JFK Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
According to him, the alleged criminals seriously wounded one of their officers identified as Vah Morris on his forehead with an instrument believed to be a cutlass which led him unconscious.
The victim (Morris), according to Carter was subsequently taken to the JFK Hospital by the Police Support Unit back-up Team and is currently undergoing treatment.
He accused the alleged criminal gangs of making away with the Police mobile radio and the keys of the Police vehicle.