PAYNESVILLE – Five men yet to be properly identified, but police authorities say were armed robbers, have been gunned down in a shootout with officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) Anti-Robbery Unit in the commercial district of Red Light, Paynesville City.
Police Inspector General Col. Patrick Sudue told reporters on the scene of the foiled arm robbery incident that the men were killed during early morning hours of Thursday, 20 May, when officers of the LNP returned fire after they were fired at by the alleged robbers.
He narrated that during police patrol Thursday evening, the LNP received a call informing that some folks were beating a security guard, who he said the police later found out to be driver, adding that the fellow was being beaten severely.
“So when we got the call, immediately, we dispatched our Paynesville team to come and ascertain what had happened,” IG Sudue said, adding that when the team of police officers arrived the scene which is a cold storage facility located at the Container Site, in the commercial district of Red Light, due to the kind of movement the team of police officers observed, they decided to retreat and regroup.
According to IG Sudue, the LNP Paynesville team of officers found that people were posted in a kind of unusual way, noting that when people are found posted in such manner; it indicates an ongoing arm robbery or a robbery operation.
“So when our people came, immediately when they engaged the two guys that they found, they opened fire on the police officers – they opened fire and fled the scene – and we learned, there was a vehicle here, [but] when the officers came, the vehicle also fled the scene,” Col. Sudue said
He continued: “So, the officers after going after those guys when they ran off decided going back to the site, two guys came out of the store and they fired at the officers and immediately they returned and the two persons were hit.”
Sudue further said when the LNP officers braved the storm to enter the store, they were fired at by the alleged armed robbers, who he said discharged many rounds of single barrel gun – “they fired at the officers and the officers returned fire and three persons were hit in the store,” said IG Sudue, who took reporters on a guided tour of the interior of the cold storage, displaying the lifeless bodies of the victims, two guns, and a bad he said was stuffed the sum of L$500,000 he disclosed owners of the facility said they had kept in the store.
He reported that although the alleged robbers fired at the police officers, but none sustained any injury, bragging that “because they are very professional.”
“I would like to say those officers who entered here, they are very brave and we will have to award them with the Inspector General of police bravery medal,” IG Sudue said, adding, “They have to be honored, because those officers risked their lives by going in there and engaging the people in the exchange of fire and they were successful to have brought those three guys down.”
Meanwhile, police spokesman Moses Carter told Womenvoices late Thursday that the alleged armed robbers’ corpses were deposited at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Medical Center, with a plea from the LNP for members of the public to proceed there for the purpose of identifying their lifeless bodies.
Up to press time last evening, none of the deceased “armed robbers” had been identified.