A Counter Terrorism police officer has shot a student of Uganda Christian University (UCU) in what police say was a case of a mistaken identity.
The incident occurred at 4:15am on Saturday, May 20 in Nabuti Village, Mukono Central Division, Mukono Municipality, Mukono District.
The victim, who is admitted at Kawolo Hospital in critical condition, has been identified as Nagayi Natasha, a 21-year-old female adult, and a student at Uganda Christian University.
She resides in Nabuti Village, Mukono Central Division.
The suspect, identified as Number T/460 ASP Dismass Tebangole, is a 57-year-old male adult and a police officer attached to the Counter Terrorism Police, VIPPU. He also resides in Nabuti Village.
“According to the preliminary investigation, it is alleged that on the aforementioned date and time, the suspect noticed someone attempting to open his main door,” said Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, Luke Owoyesigyire.
“Suspecting a thief, the suspect peeped through the window glass and observed a person using a key to open the door,” he added.
“In a state of suspicion, the suspect discharged three live bullets through the window glass, hitting Nagayi Natasha on the right chest, near the lower armpit.”
It remains unclear why the highly-trained officer did not first fire in the air to scare away the suspected intruder.
Alternatively, the cop, whom we understand received specialised training in weapons management, would have fired a bullet to disable the deceased if he thought his life was in danger.
Nevertheless, upon being shot, Natasha fell to the ground and cried out for help, asserting that she was not a thief.
“She specifically mentioned the name Bandishe Ashiraf, one of the tenants residing in the suspect’s residence (residential block),” said Owoyesigyire.
The caretaker of the residence, Hanington Ssengendo, along with other neighbors, responded to the scene.
Subsequently, Tebangole emerged from his residence.
Owoyesigyire said an “investigation revealed that Natasha was accompanied by her boyfriend, Bandishe Ashiraf, outside for leisure. Ashiraf had given her the key to enter the residence and rest while he remained behind. However, she mistakenly attempted to open the suspect’s room, which is opposite Ashiraf’s room, leading to the unfortunate shooting incident.”
Police are holding Tebangole as part of the investigations into the incident.
“The victim was transported in critical condition to Kawolo Hospital for immediate medical attention,” said Owoyesigyire.
Owoyesigyire said a pistol with 12 rounds of live ammunition, was recovered from the suspect by the response Police team.
The development comes at a time of increased gun violence in the country.
On Friday, Police Constable Charles Opio, attached to the Field Force Unit (FFU) Mbarara, shot and killed Corporal Paper Yeremiah, a UPDF officer attached to Ruhengyere Engineering Brigade.
On Thursday, a security guard shot himself dead at Mukwasi House in Nakasero, Kampala.
A few days earlier, a private security guard identified as Peter Ochoroi, 26, shot his workmate dead in Kalule Zone, Lukuli Parish, Makindye Division, Kampala District.
This past weekend, a security guard in Wandegeya opened fire at a motorist who was trying to escape from an accident scene, injuring a shopkeeper identified as Geoffrey Mwesigwa.
Last week, police officer Ivan Wabwire shot dead Indian national Uttam Bhandari, the Director of TFS Financial Services at Rajja Chambers in Kampala.