Liberia: Forensic Examination Confirms That Bong County Journalist, Chris David, Died Of Bullet Wounds; Perpetrators Remain Unknown
Gbarnga, Bong County – Following examinations Saturday of the corpse of murdered Bong journalist Chris David, a senior police officer who was part of the forensic police team that examined the body confirmed to FrontPage Africa that a weapon was used to murder the journalist. However, the police didn’t disclose which weapon was used. “From our examination of the body I can confirm that bullet was used to kill the journalist,” the police officer told our reporter.
Police have been being tight-lipped following the examinations of the corpse of the journalist. The regional director of Police for Bong, Nimba and Lofa, Morris Tehmah, was unable to provide findings on the examinations of the corpse.
The officer’s statement contradicts a reported statement from the Police Commander of Bong County, Frederick Nappy, that the 34-year-old journalist had an accident and was never murdered as claimed by some journalists and health officials.
David’s former workmates said the police commander’s insinuation about the death of their colleague has the propensity of tempering with the outcome of the forensic team. “The police commander’s statement is unfair and unjust. The bullet wounds are glaring for everyone to see and for the Police Commander to continue insinuating that our colleague died because of accident is not only a disservice to his profession but the government he works for,” one staff said.
Police remain tight-lipped about the shooting
On Saturday, investigators continued to decline to discuss any of the circumstances related to the killing of the journalist, which happened on Thursday near the Gbarnga Regional Justice and Security Hub, where members of the Police Support Unit are based. “There hasn’t been significant change in this case since Friday when we discovered the body of the journalist,” a police officer speaking on condition of abnormity.
Journalists in Bong County say they are saddened by Friday’s murder of a journalist in the county and call on authorities to investigate the killing immediately and bring those responsible to justice. On Thursday evening, unidentified gunmen shot and killed Chris David, a reporter of Catholic-run Radio Paraclete on the Lofa road at 9:45PM.
Samuel Kplaiwru, Bong county coordinator of the Press Union of Liberia, said that the killing of the journalist brings to the fore serious concerns for the safety of journalists in Liberia. “We condemned the brutal killing of our colleague and we call on the government to step in and unravel his killers. This was a young man with a promising future gruesomely killed by unidentified gunmen,” he said.
“We are calling on the Liberia National Police to show commitments and investigate the alleged assignation. This is one incident that should not be allowed to lie low and we also called on the Police Commander in Bong County to investigate the matter with a sense of urgency,” he said.
Speaking to FrontPage Africa, Nathan Mathews, station’s manager of Radio Paraclete, said: “The horrific death of our beloved and hardworking staff, Chris, has thrown the entire Radio Paraclete family into mourning,” he said.
Matthews said David’s death was a reminder of the danger journalists face in the course of their work.