Robbers kill pursuing policeman

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday July 10th, 2013


A POLICEMAN was shot dead and another seriously injured in a robbery in Alotau, Milne Bay, on Monday.

Const David Opa was shot as he and other officers pursued a gang after a robbery at the InterOil depot in which a substantial amount of money was stolen.

Assistant Commissioner Southern region Allan Kundi said: “The alleged robbers had gone at about 12.45pm to the service station and held up security guards and staff and went into the manager’s office, got a substantial amount of money and took off in a waiting vehicle towards East Cape.

“Police were alerted and chased the alleged robbers who had abandoned the vehicle they were travelling in and went uphill at a village called Aihoma.”

Kundi said police gave chase on foot uphill but the robbers were already positioned and waiting for them.

He said it was then that Opa was shot. Opa was from Kaupena, Imbonggu district, Southern Highlands. 

“Police in Alotau are very concerned about the shooting of their comrade and have formed a working committee to investigate and capture the robbers,” he said.

“I am appealing to the public and the surrounding villages to provide any information to the Alotau police station or provincial commander.

“The people of Milne Bay are known for their peace-loving and easy-going attitude and this incident will leave a nasty tag on  their reputation. It is very important they now seriously assist police so that those responsible face the full force of justice.

“David Opa was a brave officer and had his life taken away in the line of duty. He had just recently graduated from the Bomana Police College and was on his first posting to the province.

“On behalf of the Southern region command I pass my sincere condolences to the family of the late Const Opa.”

Kundi said he would travel to Alotau today to help investigate the shooting.

Meanwhile, Milne Bay Governor Titus Philemon has strongly condemned the killing of the policeman.

In conveying his condolences to the family of the deceased, Philemon said it was sad and shocking that such an incident could happen in Milne Bay.

He also called on the public to provide information that might lead to the arrest of the criminals involved in the shooting incident.