Trader Fatally Shot in Anambra Market Chaos

Trader Fatally Shot in Anambra Market Chaos

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A tragic incident unfolded late Friday at the Science Equipment Market, Onitsha Bridgehead in Anambra State, as members of the Anambra State Anti-Touting Squad reportedly shot and killed one individual while injuring several others.

According to eyewitnesses, the turmoil erupted when squad members entered the market searching for an individual who had allegedly urinated in a restricted area and sought refuge within the market premises.

Witnesses recounted that the operatives fired indiscriminately for over two hours, causing panic among traders who fled for safety. This chaos resulted in the destruction and looting of merchandise.

One trader, identified simply as Okonkwo, described the day as a “black Friday” for the market community, narrating, “The operatives killed a man simply because he urinated along the Onitsha-Asaba Expressway. After urinating, the boy ran into the market as the operatives chased him. When they entered the market, they started shooting.”

He further explained that stray bullets injured two individuals who were later rushed to the hospital for treatment. Additionally, Okonkwo highlighted the sealing of market toilets and alleged extortion by the operatives from individuals caught urinating outside.

Anambra State Police Command’s spokesperson, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, confirmed the incident, stating that the Commissioner of Police, Aderemi Adeoye, has initiated an investigation. Ikenga revealed that upon receiving reports of the shooting, police officers arrived at the scene to find one individual deceased and another injured. Six expended cartridges were recovered from the scene.

This tragic event echoes a similar incident in December 2023 along the Onitsha-Owerri Road, where a young man named Chimezie lost his life to a stray bullet reportedly fired by individuals suspected to be operatives of the Anambra State Anti-touts Agency. Chimezie, who had recently completed his national service, was standing on his residence balcony when the bullet struck him.

Both incidents underscore the need for thorough investigations and measures to prevent the recurrence of such tragedies.

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