Three Killed Over Cell Phone

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By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK Three people lost their lives and three others are recovering in hospital after a male nurse went on a shooting rampage, purportedly because he was missing his cell phone in a local bar on Friday at around 13h45. The “missing” cell phone was later found on his person. Two of the people died on the spot, while one succumbed to his wounds yesterday morning. The Namibian Police identified the deceased as Festus Aron and Boni Shuudeni, both aged 25, and 22-year-old Jonas Erastus. The other three, who are in hospital for treatment after being shot in the chest, stomach and legs, are Joel Hango, Timo Kandjumbwa and Primus Ashipala. It is understood that the 36-year-old nurse visited the bar regularly and was a familiar face among locals who frequent the bar. Reports say that the nurse had a light lunch with few beers at another place before entering Kondjeni Bottle Store close to the Katutura Single Quarters with what witnesses say was a Richelieu nip. It is further alleged that the nurse of the Katutura State Hospital accused the people in the bar of stealing his cell phone. “Not more than six minutes after he allegedly started to search for the phone he ordered some people to undress to search them. He then apparently fired a shot from a 9 mm pistol through the roof before he started shooting randomly at people in the bar,” said police spokesperson Chief Inspector Angula Amulungu. The scene quickly attracted a lot of attention as many people, including children on their way from school, gathered around. Eyewitness at the scene said they were shocked at the idea of innocent people losing their lives over a “stolen” phone. When New Era visited the crime scene at around lunchtime yesterday at the corner of Iiyambo Kalimbo Street and Vicky Iipinge Street, the Kondjeni Bottle Store premises were closed and quiet. Owner of the bottle store, Michael Frans Shihwandu said that he was very unhappy about the deaths that took place at his premises. “We feel very bad, people come here to enjoy themselves and someone just comes here to kill them. What is that? We don’t know whether he was a mad man or was drunk or sent by somebody to come and kill people here!” exclaimed Shihwandu, showing the New Era team the bullet hole of the first shot in the ceiling of the bar. The hole was just above the pool table. According to the owner, the suspect came in with a nip of Richelieu from another shebeen and when he assumed that his cell phone was stolen, all hell broke loose. “He came in and suddenly started shooting everywhere. He was saying that he was looking for his cell phone and first shot in the roof. Then he went outside, re-loaded his gun, returned and shot (at) anyone in front of him,” added the shocked co-manager of the bar, Martinus Silas. At the time, many people’s lives were at risk as the bottle store was packed to capacity. “Luckily there are two doors and many people quickly ran out, but some were falling down,” said Silas, adding that unfortunately the many bullets also killed his uncle’s son, the late 22-year-old Jonas Erastus. Erastus was a casual worker at a company in town. Another family member of his, namely his sister’s son Boni Shuudeni, also passed away at the Katutura State Hospital yesterday morning. Residents are saddened by the shocking shooting spree as the once busy and peaceful Single Quarters has now been turned into an area of fear. “Single Quarters is very peaceful for business, but now a killer wants to create a bad name for it. It has always been very calm here but now we fear for our children,” said one woman who stays close to where the killings took place. Police have it on record that the suspect’s gun was on a previous occasion taken away from him before it was handed back to him more than three weeks ago. “The police must take action against the killer, give him life in prison because it sometimes happens that these suspects are caught but later end up to be free in the streets again,” added another resident. As for now, the Kondjeni Bottle Store remains closed until the case is finalised. The suspect is expected to appear in the Katutura magistrate’s court today – Meanwhile, police also report that three people were arrested in Katutura in connection with the murder of Kerneels Swiegers at Goreangab Dam two weeks ago. The late Swiegers and friends went on an outing in the mountains to take photographs of the current passing comet McNaught when the shooting took place. Chief Inspector Amulungu said the murder weapon was also found on the suspects and they will appear in the Katutura magistrate’s court today. Police yesterday informed the media that nine people lost their lives last Friday in a head-on collision between Okahao and Oshakati at around 16h30. Five people died on the spot, five were injured and four others died on the way to hospital. The deceased’s names will be released during the course of the week.