It has emerged that the two policemen who lost their lives at Gomoa Pomadze, near Winneba, on Monday night had been accidentally shot at by a police patrol team which was responding to a distress call.
Initial reports suggested that the two had been gunned down by armed robbers at their residence.
The deceased, both members of the Central Regional Police Band, were identified as Lance Corporals Emmanuel Tetteh, 36, and Francis Appiah,28.
Their bodies have been deposited at the Police Hospital morgue in Accra pending the outcome of an autopsy.
The incident happened after the robbers had gone to rob some students of the Pan African Christian University College (PACUC) at their hostel at Gomoa Pomadze.
A male student of the university who sustained machete wounds in the process is receiving treatment at the Winneba Trauma Specialist Hospital.
But a statement signed by the . Director of Public Affairs of the Ghana Police Service, Deputy Superintendent of Police Mr
Cephas Arthur, said the patrol team, in its response to the distress call, had come across a private vehicle being driven by a policeman.
It said the policeman was at that time conveying his colleague, who had been injured by the robbers, to hospital, but the patrol team inadvertently took “them for the escaping robbers, pursued them and fired at them, leading to the death of the two policemen”.
It said in line with Police Service Instruction Section 97, “on every occasion that a firearm is discharged by a member of the service in the execution of his duty, an investigation shall be conducted into the incident”.
It said the Homicide Squad and the Crime Scene Management Team of the CID had proceeded to the rented quarters shared by the police and some students of the PACUC where the robbery took place for investigation.
The armed robbers, numbering about five, attacked the students’ hostel and made away with laptops and an undisclosed amount of money before storming apartments occupied by both policemen and civilians.
According to eyewitnesses, the robbers first attacked a lady, after which they attacked Appiah, who came out to find out what was happening when he heard shouts on the compound.
They said the robbers left the lady and attacked Appiah and inflicted machete wounds on him.
Another policeman, whose name was only given as Julius, was also attacked but he managed to raise an alarm and alerted the patrol team about the incident.
According to them, another policeman fired a gunshot which made the robbers scale a wall and run away.
They said Tetteh, who had just closed from duty, managed to sneak out of the house to town to fetch a friend’s car to transport Appiah, who was in a critical condition, to hospital.
Unfortunately, the police patrol team thought the car was being used by the robbers to escape, pursued it and fired at its occupants, resulting in their instant death.
The car then hit the wall of a house, causing severe damage to the wall.
When this reporter got to scene around 10 a.m. yesterday, there were bloodstains all over the car, as well as in it.
The nature of the incident made the Inspector-General Police, Mr Mohammed Alhassan, to visit the crime scene.
Later, the Director General of Police CID, Commissioner of Police Mr Prosper Agblor, together with a team of officers, went to undertake preliminary investigations into the incident.