Two people are nursing severe injuries after being shot at by police officers pursuing a suspected assailant in Gulu city. The two were reportedly shot from Conga Oloya Market in Kanyagoga A cell, Bardege-Layibi Division at about 8:30 p.m. Sunday evening.
The victims are Michael Odongpiny 58, a resident of Kanayagoga B cell who sustained gunshot injuries on his left fingers and right arm, and Margaret Lamunu who sustained injuries on her thighs. They are both admitted to Gulu Regional Referral Hospital.
Odongpiny told Uganda Radio Network from his hospital on Monday that he was drinking in a bar after ending his day’s work on the fateful evening when the bullets hit him. Odongpiny who is a craftsman says the bullet first hit his left finger while the second shot penetrated through the right arm.
Ondongpiny says the injuries are likely to affect his work of making crafts and called on the Uganda Police Force (UPDF) to compensate him for the mistake committed by their officers.
Lamunu, who owns the bar from where she was shot, says the incident will most likely affect her business and children’s education since she is the sole breadwinner at home.
Gilbert Okwir, the Deputy Resident City Commissioner in charge of Bardege-Layibi City Division confirmed the incident in an interview with Uganda Radio Network on Monday.
Okwir says the victims were accidentally shot when police officers fired bullets to scare a wanted assailant who fled from police custody in handcuffs after being arrested on Sunday evening.
The suspect only identified as Ocen had been arrested in connection to a murder incident that happened on Independence Day, which he is believed to have masterminded.
Okwir says a police officer who is suspected of having released the bullets that hit the victims has been arrested for interrogation. The suspect has been identified as Corporal David Canwat attached to Bardege Layibi Police Post and is currently being detained at Gulu City West Police Station.
Aswa West Police Public Relations Officer, David Ongom Mudong says the suspect will be arraigned in court to answer charges of unlawful shooting upon the conclusion of the investigations. A case of unlawful wounding has since been registered under, vide CRB 419/2023 of Gulu City West Police Station.