RUNDU - Andreas Hamutenya, 32, was rushed to the Rundu Intermediate Hospital after a traffic cop unintentionally shot him on Thursday as he chased after a suspected thief.
Hamutenya was shot in his left arm and the bullet fractured his left arm elbow.
The traffic officer, who is an inspector by rank, was in the area when the community alerted him to thievery involving another man, who was fleeing.
The speeding cop apparently shot in the direction of the fleeing thief, and his bullet inadvertently hit Hamutenya, a security guard who was dropped off by a company transport and heading home.
“I walked across the street from Rundu shopping mall and I entered a Chinese shop. Just when I came out, I was struck by the bullet, the girl who was close to me started screaming. She took a cloth and tied my arm and got me a taxi and rushed me to the hospital, they operated me and removed the bullet,” said Hamutenya, who feared he could have been shot dead for doing nothing.
A teary-eyed Hamutenya said: “This man has ruined me, this arm might not fully recover and it will affect my livelihood. I’m even unable to go to work, I work as a security guard,” he said.
According to him, the officer visited him and apologised. “I asked him why he opened fire in the CBD where there are a lot of people. He said he didn’t intend to hurt me,” he added.
The victim has six children.
A nurse in the surgical ward where Hamutenya is currently hospitalised said the doctor was yet to examine his fractured arm.
“They just removed the bullet yesterday (Thursday) at casualty, he is going to be seen by an orthopaedic later, as he has an elbow fracture. We are waiting for the doctor to examine him properly,” the nurse said.
The state opened a case of attempted murder against the police officer.
The regional crime investigations coordinator for Kavango East, Deputy Commissioner Bonifatius Kanyetu confirmed the incident to New Era on Friday.
“Yes there is a case [opened]. It happened on Thursday morning at around 08h47 at Rundu town centre, the suspect shot the victim on the left arm with an official pistol, in an attempt to stop a thief and the bullet struck the innocent man,” Kanyetu said.