A suspected armed bandit was gunned down on Saturday, February 14, 2015 during an exchange of gun fire with the police during a robbery attack in a supermarket at the Ikot Effa area of Calabar, Cross River State capital.
Additionally, two other persons believed to be among the armed robbers were arrested in the process while four others reportedly escaped.
One of the two arrested suspects, according to the police, had died in custody around 12am on Sunday, February 15, 2015 due to the severity of the injuries he sustained during the encounter.
A locally-made pistol and 42 rounds of ammunition, machetes, mobile phones, electronic appliances and other valuables were recovered from the suspects.
According to Punch, the owner of the attacked supremarket, Mr. Akpan Ekerette, said he initially thought the gunmen were customers who had come to buy provisions, but was shocked when two of them walked up to him at the counter and demanded all the money in his possession.
He said, “At first I didn’t know they were armed robbers because they were about five that came into the store, while others stood outside. Some were also in a red Audi saloon car. One of the suspects, who was eventually killed, hit me on the head with his gun and ordered me to bring money.
“I directed him to my drawer where I had close to N500, 000, including cash from the day’s sales. That was when I started screaming and my neighbours alerted the police who came in less than five minutes and the armed robbers started shooting, during the exchange of fire they apprehended two of them while others escaped.”
He added, “This is the second time they are attacking me this year. If not that the police responded on time I wonder what would have happened to me because apart from the money they took, they were also packing items from my shop including beverages and drinks,” he said.
The state Police spokesperson, Mr. Hogan Bassey, who confirmed the incident commended the members of the public who immediately called the attention of the police while the incident was ongoing.
Bassey said, “It was the timely tip-off that made it possible for us to get to the scene promptly. If this trend is maintained, the police will definitely rid the state of criminals. These armed robbers are not invincible. Useful information can go a long way in foiling their plans.”