Katamanso: Alleged car jacker gunned down by police in shoot out

32-year-old man, Richard Opoku, was on Sunday gunned down in a shootout with police at Katamanso after trying to steal a Hyundai Sonata saloon car.

Four others believed to be his accomplices however managed to escape.

According to the Public Relations Officer of the Tema Regional Police Command, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Ms Juliana Obeng, the deceased together with the other four snatched the car with registration number GN 2590-16 from its owner, Suraj Umar at gun point at the Titanic Beach at Community 3, Tema at about 7:00pm.

According to her, Umar was sitting in the vehicle along the beach with a female friend when the five men, two of them masked and wielding locally manufactured pistols, came out of nowhere and instructed them to get out of the vehicle.

Umar and his lady friend were pulled out of the vehicle and escorted to the shore by Opoku and his gang and were abandoned there.

She said few minutes later, Umar went to check on his car and found out that the robbers were nowhere to be found and his car was also not there. He immediately lodged a complaint at the Community 2 Police Station.

Wireless message

ASP Obeng explained that Police Patrol Teams and Snap Check Points were immediately alerted to be on the lookout for the car. 

She said a few hours later, a snap checkpoint at Katamanso signalled a Hyundai Saloon car that fitted the description of the stolen car to stop but the driver ignored the signal and rather sped off.

The police officer detailed for that snap checkpoint pursued the car with his personal motorbike until the driver of the saloon car in an attempt to escape from police, knocked down the police rider and run into a ditch.

Exchange of gunfire 

She said the five occupants of the car including the driver then got down from the vehicle and took to their heels amidst firing of gunshots at the police.

“The officer returned fire when he realized his life was in immediate danger and in the process shot the deceased, Opoku, who was the driver while his four other accomplices managed to escape,” she said.

According to her, the vehicle was retrieved along with a cutlass and a mobile phone.

She said preliminary police investigations revealed that the deceased who was the leader of the gang, was an ex-convict, who was granted bail by a Tema court about a week ago for the same offence of car-jacking that was being investigated by the Tema Regional Police Command.

ASP Obneg said investigations have started to arrest the other suspected robbers who are on the run.