THE 33-year-old Onesmus Nangombe, who got involved in a shootout with members of the Namibian Police that responded to a burglary in progress call, succumbed to gunshot wounds in a Windhoek hospital.
According to the head of the Namibian Police’s Public Relations Division, Deputy Commissioner Kauna Shikwambi, the skirmish with police officers occurred at about 00:55 on Wednesday morning at a business premises in the Wanaheda residential area of Windhoek.
She said that the deceased house breaker and an accomplice were seen breaking into the business premises by members of the public on a crime prevention patrol after which the Namibian Police were called to the scene.
According to Shikwambi, when the reaction force arrived on the scene they found the accomplice outside the building. The arresting officers suspected that the first man they encountered was supposed to keep watch while the deceased person plundered the business for money and other valuable items.
When the accomplice was accosted by the officers he immediately surrendered and was taken into custody.
“The person inside the building, who was later identified as Nangombe, fired upon the officers when he came out of the building. The officers returned fire while the suspect ran for a nearby dry river bed to flee from the scene of the crime,” she said.
According to Shikwambi the suspect kept on firing on police officers while he ran and managed to evade arrest by hiding in the bushes in the river bed.
“While the arresting officers were searching for the suspect down in the river bed, he suddenly started to cry out for help. He informed the police officers that he was badly wounded and they followed his voice to where he was hiding. When they found the suspect again they saw that bullets from the police officers struck him in various parts of his body,” she said.
Shikwambi said that an ambulance from the Windhoek Emergency Services was immediately summoned and the wounded suspect was rushed to the Katutura State Hospital for emergency medical treatment.
“The suspect, however, succumbed to his wounds a few hours after being admitted,” she said.
She indicated that detectives investigating the matter found that both suspects were free on bail on several previous cases that range from housebreaking and theft, robbery, and the possession of unlicensed firearms.
The suspect that surrendered to the reaction force was detained at the Wanaheda Police Station while the arresting officers recovered some of the stolen items and some of the toll they used in the execution of their crime.
Besides the fact that the burglars were caught in the act of breaking and entering they were also contravening the curfew and other health regulations and these charges will be brought against the surviving suspect,” she said.
Shikwambi used the opportunity to urge business owners and homeowners to increase their level of alertness and to ensure that all possible crime prevention measures are in place to protect their property.