Friendly fire kills on-duty cop
By Nqobile Tshili
A police officer was shot dead, allegedly mistakenly, by a colleague as a team of Bulawayo and Chivhu detectives swooped in on an armed robbery suspect in Chivhu, Mashonaland East province.
The incident occurred on Saturday afternoon as Criminal Investigations Department (CID) officers from Bulawayo teamed up with their counterparts in Chivhu to arrest the suspect, Mussa Denge (43).
It could not be established immediately if the deceased was from Bulawayo CID or Chivhu.
Denge was then arrested in connection with a robbery of two vehicles in Bulawayo and Kadoma.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the fatal shooting yesterday.
He said cops were still investigating circumstances leading to the incident.
“I can confirm that we lost one of our officers yesterday (Saturday) afternoon as police officers were carrying out a raid in Chivhu. The officer was shot dead as members were effecting an arrest.
“He got injured and later passed on at a local hospital. So basically, we are conducting investigations and we will release more information soon,” he said.
Asst Comm Nyathi said the suspect was wanted in Bulawayo and other places for armed robbery cases.
“The suspect was wanted for several cases which include robbery in Bulawayo. He was being pursued by a CID team comprising officers from Bulawayo and CID Chivhu.
“It’s really sad but we are conducting investigations. The suspect has since been arrested. Our investigations will also establish whether the suspect was armed,” said Asst Com Nyathi.
Sources said the joint team had followed Denge from Chivhu central business district to a local house.
“As the suspect arrived at the house, cops who were in hot pursuit advanced towards him with one of the detectives discharging a gun as he fired warning shots.
“One of the detectives who had advanced and was about to grab the suspect was then accidentally shot in the pelvis before he was rushed to Chivhu General Hospital for treatment.
“The officer unfortunately succumbed to sustained injuries,” said the source. The Chronicle