Liberia: Hospital Confirms Bullet Wound on Woman, Police Denies Discharging Rounds in Barnesville Riot
Barnersville – Florence Nagbe who attended to the wounds of Helena Nimley at the THT Hospital in Barnesville confirmed to reporters that her patient had sustained bullet wound on her neck, though the bullet was not found in the wound.
Report by Lennart Dodoo, [email protected]
Helena was reportedly the victim of a stray bullet believed to have fired by officers of the Liberia National Police in an attempt disperse an angry crowd that was bent on setting a truck ablaze and mobbing its driver after colliding with a motorcyclist – an accident that led to the death of the operator and the passenger he was carrying on Wednesday morning.
Helena who believes she missed death by the skin of the teeth told reporters while on her treatment bed, that she had just left a clinic in the Kebbah area where she had been receiving medical attention and was on her way home when she saw the crowd of young people and the police.
According to her, she was far from where the riot was happening but heard gunshots and while trying to cross the street to move from harm’s way, she felt the hit on her neck and suddenly dropped to the ground.
Helena told reporters that she was grateful to God that she’s still alive.
“I came from the clinic crossing the road and I saw the police shooting, suddenly they shot me and I fell,” she explained.
She continued, “If I was going to die it was going to be very bad for my kids. My kids are fatherless, how were they go going to manage?”
Helena believes that police were shooting indiscriminately.
Residents in the community showed reporters a hole in a wall of a structure near the riot scene which they claimed was caused by bullet discharged by the police.
Deputy Police Inspector General for Administration, Col. Sadiatu Reeves told reporters on the scene that two officers of the National Police were going to be investigated on the shooting incident.
However, Spokesman of the Liberia National Police, Moses Carter, later denied the discharge of rounds by police officers.
“We wish to clarify that no round was fired as was reported on social media. It is also important to note that besides the two deaths that resulted from the accident, no one died contrary to false information being circulated my rumor-mongers,” he said.
At a press conference held at the Central Headquarters, he said, the police moved to the Kebbah community to help restore calm.
According to Carter, tensions erupted as a result of the death of one motorcyclist, Rodus Vormor and an unidentified passenger by a truck driver, Abou Sheriff.
The incident occurred at 10:00 A.M. when an angry mob went on the rampage in avenging the death of the motorcyclist and the unidentified passenger. They were demanding the burning of the truck, marked H-14455 that was driven by suspect Abou Sheriff.
Carter said contrary to reports of the police firing live rounds, it was the protestors who were instead throwing petrol bombs, glass bottles and stones at police officers that arrived on the scene to avert the burning of the truck and bring the situation under control.
He, however, confirmed that Helena sustained injury but said Dr. Dee George at the THT Hospital in Barnesville confirmed that she’s recuperating.
Several residents of Kebbah took to the airwaves on various radio stations shortly after the police press conference to condemn the action of the police, insisting that live rounds were discharged.
Some called for a thorough investigation instead of putting a defense.
“The police are supposed to be there to protect us. We all know that it is not easy to disperse the violent crowd, but it is also not fair for the police to lie that they never fired, that’s very false and they have to be sincere,” a local on a local radio said.
Rodus Vormor was pronounced dead on arrival at the James David Medical Center and was later transferred to the St. Moses Funeral Home while the unidentified passenger was pronounced dead on arrival at the JFK hospital.
Abraham Darius Dillon, a member of the opposition Liberty Party in a comment relating to this morning shooting recalled the killing of the teenager Shaki Kamara in West Point by officers of the Armed Forces of Liberia. “The cold-blooded shooting this morning of a woman in the Kebbah Community in Garnerville allegedly by an officer of the Liberia National Police, reminds me of the late Shaki Kamara who was similarly shot to death by an ALF soldier back in 2014 in the Township of West Point. This reckless act on part of state security must be frowned upon and harshly condemned. For the respect of the dead, I will not post her photo. We need to demand justice for this innocent woman. The Police leadership must act now. This is a huge negative against this govt that we should not allow to just go away,” he wrote.