By Peter Matika and Judith Phiri
A man from Bulawayo was accidentally shot and wounded on the shoulder when a police officer allegedly opened fire at a suspected robber within the city’s Central Business District on Friday afternoon.
According to a police source, Timothy Mangena (48) from Hillside was shot in the crossfire when Constable Samuel Marava attempted to gun down an alleged criminal, identified as Winter Chisale at about 2.40pm at a vegetable market place and cross border bus rank along George Silundika Street between 4th and 5th avenues.
“The victim was seated in his car waiting for his wife who was doing some vegetable shopping when Constable Marava who was on surveillance spotted Chisale being dropped by a blue unmarked Honda Fit vehicle.
Chisale tried to fish out a cream satchel from a parked car which belongs to Sitheni Maqhuzu Ncube who had left his car doors unlocked and windows were down.
“Constable Marava, who was armed with a service pistol, fired two warning shots into the air and two other shots towards the getaway car when it was fleeing from the scene. Mangena who was sitting in his car was hit by a bullet. Thereafter he saw blood oozing from his left shoulder. He is currently admitted to United Bulawayo Hospitals for medical attention,” said the source.
The source added that the bag which Chisale allegedly stole contained an HP laptop and an Ipad was recovered when Const Marava wrestled Chisale as he tried to escape.
“Constable Marava caught up with Chisale before he got into the getaway Blue Honda Fit. He grabbed him from behind and they started wrestling until Chisale dropped the satchel on the ground and managed to break loose, enabling him to jump into the getaway car which then sped off.
The getaway car managed to escape with its occupants,” said the source.
Ncube and Mangena proceeded to the Bulawayo Central Police Station where Ncube filed a report of theft from a vehicle.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi could not comment on the matter, saying he had not received the full report.
The scene has been cordoned off, awaiting processing by ballistics experts. Sunday News.