A MEMBER of the Namibian Police was wounded during a shootout with a gang of armed men in the parking area of a shopping mall in Okahandja on Monday morning.
At this stage, the Namibian Police is only able to confirm that the shootout occurred sometime during Monday morning. NamPol could also confirm that one of the officers and one of the suspected robbers sustained gunshot wounds during the skirmish.
According to reports by various people that had insight into the incident, the police officer saw a group of five men armed with pistols walking around the parking area of the new shopping centre in Okahandja. He called for back-up from the station and also solicited the help of a local security guard to pursue the armed men on foot.
Members of the gang spotted that they were being followed and opened fire on the officer and the private security guard. The officer was wounded on the left side of his abdomen.
When the officer went down the security guard opened fire and in the process, one of the armed suspects was wounded in the leg and arm.
The robber fell to the ground while his four friends ran in the direction of the Engen Service station where they jumped into a taxi in an effort to flee from the scene where the skirmish occurred.
By that time the back-up the officer called for earlier, arrived on the scene and the additional officers chased the taxi down.
Both the wounded suspect and the police officer were transported to the hospital for medical treatment.
The remaining four suspects were detained for questioning and it is believed that some or all of them were involved in the brutal attack and robbery of an elderly couple in their home in Okahandja over the past weekend.
It is further believed that the suspects could also be involved in other vicious attacks on peace-loving residents of the town over the past two weeks.
A spokesperson of the Namibian Police could not say if the suspects will appear in the Okahandja Magistrate’s Court on charges of discharging firearms in public.