Armed robbers on Monday shot and killed a police sergeant outside the premises of a branch of the Guarantee Trust Bank at Shell RA bus stop in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The robbers were said to have trailed a customer of the bank, who had gone to withdraw cash at about 10.50am.
It was learnt that the bandits had laid ambush somewhere close to the bank, waiting for the unidentified customer to make withdrawals.
The armed robbers, according to witnesses, immediately opened fire on the man’s vehicle as it moved out of the bank premises.
While a source said the police sergeant was inside the vehicle that was attacked as an escort, another source maintained that the policeman was on the bank premises before he met his untimely death.
It was learnt that the hoodlums immediately retrieved a bag containing “a huge sum of money” from their victim before zooming off in a Toyota Corolla.
The incident caused pandemonium as bank customers and workers ran helter-skelter to avoid being hit by armed robbers’ bullets.
“I was standing at the bus stop waiting for a taxi to Bori camp. I heard a gunshot and everybody started running. I ran towards Rumukwurushi.
“After the robbers left, we saw a vehicle on the bank premises. The interior was splattered with blood, but we did not see anybody inside,” an eyewitness said.
However, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Nnamdi Omoni, who confirmed the incident, said the police sergeant was killed by the robbers while he (police sergeant) was trying to stop them from entering the bank.
Omoni argued that the slain police sergeant actually prevented the armed robbers from stealing money.
“A police sergeant was killed during a shootout. He died on the spot. He (police sergeant) foiled the robbery,” he said.